What is Osteoarthritis (OA)
- OA is a degenerative disease of the joints
- It occurs due to disintegration of cartilage. Cartilage tissue is basically:
- Shock absorbing tissue
- Cushions between joints
- Tissue that prevents friction
- It typically occurs in middle and old age
- OA can affect any joint, but most common in knees, hands, hips and spine
- Long-term it leads to bone spurs as a result of the body attempting to repair bone damage
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
- Joint pain
- Stiffness of joints
- Tenderness of joints
- Crackles from the joints
- Joint deformities
- Limping when walking
- Loss of flexibility
- Bone spurs
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
- Genetics -> Increases you risk of developing OA
- Overuse injuries and repetitive work can damage the joints
- Sport injuries
- Obesity -> excess weight put added wear and tear on the joints
- Conditions such as avascular necrosis, hemophilia, other types of Arthritis
- Gender -> More common in women
- Age-related degeneration
Remedies for Osteoarthritis
- This medicinal herb is a powerful anti-inflammatory, nootropic, immune booster and skin quality enhancer. It has been studied extensively for its use in pain and swelling. In the case of OA, Boswellia appears to be highly beneficial. In a clinical trial, patients with OA taking Boswellia experienced a decrease in knee pain, increased knee flexion and increased walking distance. There was also a decrease in the frequency of knee joint swelling (see study).
Curcumin & Turmeric
- Turmeric is an east Indian spice that has gained a lot of popularity recently for its potent anti-inflammatory benefits. Curcumin is the main phytonutrient found in Turmeric that is responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects. Literally thousands of studies have been conducted on these substances for a long list of health conditions ranging from Diabetes and Heart disease to Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and more. In a meta-analysis of 15 randomized clinical trials, it was determined that Turmeric extracts and Curcumin are safer and effective supplements for Osteoarthritis patients. In these studies, it was found that patients experienced reduced knee pain, improvements in joint function. and the supplements were well tolerated and safe (see study).
- Ginger is well known for its numerous health benefits ranging from improving fertility, pain relief, improving liver function, relieving nausea and vomiting, reducing vertigo and reducing the symptoms of PMS. It is especially useful as an anti-inflammatory and has demonstrated its ability to improve the symptoms of Osteoarthritis as well as reduce inflammatory markers in patients with OA (see study).
Diet for Osteoarthritis
Diet needs to be focused on providing the essential nutrients for rebuilding cartilage and connective tissue. Therefore, one must focus predominantly on collagen formation. This can be achieved by consuming more Vitamin C, trace minerals, high quality protein and overall nutrient dense foods. At the same time, anti-inflammatory foods can be useful for managing pain and disease progression.
Vitamin C can be found in Indian Gooseberry (Amla), Oranges, Lemons, Pepper, Strawberries, etc.
Trace Minerals can be found in nuts, seeds, wild caught salmon, sardine and mackerel, organic grass-fed meat, eggs, leafy greens, liver, and seaweed.
High quality protein is basically going to be organic free-range eggs, organic grass-fed meat, Organic wild-caught fish, organic nuts and seeds, organic grass-fed whey protein, etc.
Nutrient-dense foods are salmon, sardine, dark chocolate, liver, seaweed, kale, eggs, nuts and seeds.
Anti-inflammatory foods are salmon, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cruciferous vegetables, green leafy vegetables, berries, etc.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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by Dr. Nishal R.
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