Arthritis is an umbrella term for around 200 conditions that cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joint or the tissues that surround the joint.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis.
Although they are distinguishable by their cause, they can both disrupt your daily life, making even simple tasks difficult.
Unfortunately, arthritis cannot be cured but growing evidence shows that making certain lifestyle interventions can help to alleviate the joint pain associated, making the condition manageable.
In this regard, a popular spice has displayed promise in its ability to alleviate pain caused by osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Turmeric, a popular Asian ingredient that has long been touted for its anti-inflammatory proprieties, has been the subject of much focus.
The key ingredient is curcumin, an active compound found in turmeric.
READ MORE: Paddy McGuinness health: Top Gear presenter’s shock diagnosis at the age of 44
In addition to dietary supplementation, certain foods have been shown to alleviate arthritis symptoms.
Fatty fish, for example, such as such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory effects.
In one small study, 33 participants were fed either fatty fish, lean fish or lean meat four times each week.
After eight weeks, the fatty fish group had decreased levels of specific compounds related to inflammation.
Furthermore, an analysis of 17 studies found that taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements decreased joint pain intensity, morning stiffness, the number of painful joints and use of pain relievers in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Similarly, a test-tube study showed that omega-3 fatty acids reduced several inflammatory markers that are involved in osteoarthritis.
Fish is also a good source of vitamin D, which can help prevent deficiency.
Multiple studies have found that rheumatoid arthritis may be associated with low levels of vitamin D, which could contribute to symptoms.
Other ways to treat arthritis
While it may seem counterintuitive if you are experiencing joint pain, exercise can help to alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis.
According to Versus Arthritis, there are several reasons exercise can help to ease joint pain.
- Your muscles will become stronger. This will provide better support to the joint.
- Your joints will become supple and less likely to become stiff.
- Your joints will be able to maintain their range of movement.
- Exercise improves your overall health and fitness and can help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise leads to the release of chemicals in the body called endorphins. These are painkillers produced naturally by the body. Releasing them into the blood through exercise can make you feel good.
- Exercising regularly can help you get good sleep, which can help the body repair itself.
“Regular exercise is also an important part of maintaining a healthy weight. This will improve your symptoms as it will take pressure off joints,” adds the health body.