Osteoarthritis aka OA is the most common form of arthritis. This article addresses osteoarthritis, not rheumatoid arthritis, although both are painful and disabling disorders. It is caused when a breakdown in connective tissue occurs. Although there are 29 different types of connective tissue in the body, it is often the cartilage tissues that get damaged and cause osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis most commonly occurs in the knees, hips, and hands. As the cartilage between the bones wears down, the bone begins to change.
It is the 4th leading cause of disability in the world, and it’s painful. Often it starts with stiffness and aching. As the swelling increases, so does the pain. It can cause a significant reduction in function both socially and personally.
It usually progresses over time and so do the prescriptions that people utilize to manage the resulting pain.
There are a few predispositions or risk factors that are associated with osteoarthritis.
- Injury – whether from an accident or overuse or repetitive use, all actions that impose a stress on the joint can provoke osteoarthritis.
- Age – of course, the longer you live, the more the joint is used, but in addition, the longer it takes to heal any damage and prior damage can be affected.
- Weight – the heavier you are, the more stress on the body to move. The stress increases the risk of osteoarthritis.
- Gender – women are more likely to suffer than me, and the ratio increases as we age, partly due to the fact that men die younger.
- Genetics – some claim that there is a genetic predisposition; others suggest that families tend to eat the same foods, which may play a big factor.
Foods can actually make it worse. For instance, you want to avoid inflammatory foods:
- Sugar and synthetic sugars – use unpasteurized honey or Stevia
- Baking, sweets, ice cream
- Alcohol – make your own smoothies and fruit drinks
- Table salt – use Himalayan salt instead
- Trans fats – fats are important to the body. Make sure they are good healthy fats
- Processed foods – white flour, rice, pasta.
- You might want to reduce your intake of red meats
The flip side of the coin is that there are foods to indulge in:
- Antioxidant foods:
- Dark leafy greens: collard greens, kale, spinach, Swiss chard,
- Broccoli, cauliflower
- Ant inflammatory foods:
- Omega 3 foods: oily fish
- Greek yogurt with low sugar content
- Soft cheese that’s high in good bacteria
- Foods that protect and help repair cartilage: garlic
- Foods that support collagen synthesis and repair
- Bone broth (collagen)
- Chicken (proteins)
- Fish (proteins and fats)
- Beans (proteins)
- Eggs (proteins, choline, B vits
- Citrus fruit (vit C)
- Tomatoes (vit C)
- Red bell peppers (vit C)
- Dark greens (vit C)
In addition, you can rub on avocado oil – a great anti-inflammatory; put in some clove bud oil – great for the pain till you resolve the underlying issues.
At one point I had both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis in my hands. Horribly painful…all gone!!!