Don’t Let Arthritis Slow You Down – Part 1

Don’t Let Arthritis Slow You Down – Part 1

Arthritis is the number 1 cause of disability in the US affecting 50% of Americans over the age of 65. This number is staggering. By 2030, it is estimated that 67 million people will suffer from some form of arthritis. Whether you are currently struggling with the aches and pains of arthritis, or just want to be proactive in preventing chronic pain in the future there are certain steps that can decrease your pain and your risk.  

1) Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Carrying extra pounds around is very wearing on your joints. Fat tissue itself has been shown to actively produce chemicals called adipocytokines that may be why overweight people have arthritis in their hands even though their hands aren’t carrying the extra weight.

2) Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Many processed foods are known to cause inflammation throughout our bodies. The biggest culprits are sugar, hydrogenated oils, refined conventional grains like gluten, flour and wheat products. Instead, opt for: 1) foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon and grass-fed beef, 2) foods high in sulfur such as asparagus, onions, garlic and cabbage, 3) bone broth to provide natural glucosamine and chondroitin, 4) high antioxidant foods such as colorful fruits and vegetables and 5) high fiber foods like vegetables, fruits, ancient grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

3) Stay active. Many people with arthritis cut back on physical activity because of the associated pain in their joints. Strengthening muscles around the joint can add extra support and less strain.  It has been recognized that movement is “the most effective non-drug treatment for reducing pain and improving movement in patients with osteoarthritis.”

Join us for Part 2 of Don’t Let Arthritis Slow You Down.  Next month’s article will include three more suggestions to decrease pain and risk of arthritis.