Arthritis can be an uncomfortable and painful condition to live with. Different types of conditions can cause your joints to feel swollen, tender, stiff or inflamed, or lead to muscle weakness and wasting. Although there is no cure, it is thought diet can play a part in managing symptoms. Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints.
The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes cartilage — the hard, slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint — to break down. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, beginning with the lining of joints.
The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Depending on the type of arthritis, signs and symptoms may include:
– Decreased range of motion
A study says patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have been described as having significantly low serum potassium concentrations than that healthy subjects. According to expert Ashok Jhingan, Sr Phyciyan & Sr director BLK Max – “Dietary potassium helps balance excess sodium from salt, reducing fluid retention and aiding the correct utilisation of calcium in the bones and joints.”
He also states that good sources of potassium in fruits include bananas, melons, oranges and apricots, one hundred grams of banana contains 358mg of potassium, whereas the same amount of melon has 267mg. One hundred grams of oranges have 181mg of potassium and apricot has 259mg. However, dried apricot is more potassium-rich with 100g containing 1,162mg.
Treatment of arthritis
Treatment for arthritis aims to control pain, minimize joint damage, and improve or maintain function and quality of life. A range of medications and lifestyle strategies can help achieve this and protect joints from further damage.
Medications will depend on the type of arthritis.
A healthful, balanced diet, along with appropriate exercise and avoidance of smoking and drinking too much alcohol can help people with arthritis maintain their overall health and reduce symptom severity.
Eating some types of food may help reduce inflammation.
The following foods, found in a Mediterranean diet, can provide many nutrients that are good for joint health and can help relieve joint inflammation.
– nuts and seeds
– fruits and vegetables
– olive oil
– whole grains
On the other hand, people living with arthritis should avoid or limit eating processed foods, foods that contain added sugar, and refined carbohydrates. These foods may make arthritis inflammation worse.
Physical therapy and exercise
Doctors will often recommend a course of physical therapy to help patients with arthritis overcome some of the challenges and to reduce limitations on mobility.
Forms of physical therapy that may be recommended include:
Physical therapy: specific exercises tailored to the condition and individual needs, sometimes combined with pain-relieving treatments such as ice or hot packs and massage.
Occupational therapy: practical advice on managing everyday tasks, choosing specialized aids and equipment, protecting the joints from further damage, and managing fatigue.
In addition, although individuals with arthritis may experience short-term increases in pain when first beginning exercise, continued physical activity can effectively reduce long-term symptoms. People with arthritis can participate in joint-friendly physical activity on their own or with friends. As many people with arthritis have other conditions, such as heart disease, it is important to choose appropriate activities.
Joint-friendly physical activities that are appropriate for adults with arthritis and heart disease include:
A healthcare professional can help you find ways to live a healthful lifestyle and have a better quality of life.
A number of natural remedies have been suggested for different types of arthritis. Research Trusted Source has shown that some herbal supplements may be able to relieve some pain and inflammation or help reduce the need for taking pain medications. These include:
– Devil’s claw
Depending on the type of arthritis a person has, different surgical treatments on the affected joints may be necessary. It may depend on the degree of a person’s symptoms and whether other treatments have been successful.
All in all, arthritis is manageable and requires a routine to be followed to avoid the bouts of pain in your joints.