Natural treatments for Osteoarthritis

Alternative treatments and supplements may help to relieve symptoms such as inflammation and joint pain.

Updated: October 12, 2019


Alternative treatments and supplements may help to relieve symptoms such as inflammation and joint pain. Some supplements or herbs that may help include:

Fish oil and Olive oil:

A compound in olive oil, called oleocanthal, helps prevent inflammation. The effect is similar to NSAIDs. Olive oils with the strongest flavor have the highest amount.
Use it in place of other fats, such as butter to your diet to cut extra calories.

Green tea:

The polyphenols in green tea are known for their joint-protecting and anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidants found in the polyphenols are the main factors that suppress the immune system.

Glucosamine:

It is a supplement that may ease your joint pain. It gives relief for mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis, and it may work for other joints, too. Glucosamine is a natural chemical compound in your body that helps keep up the health of your cartilage. But as you get older, your levels of this compound begin to drop, which leads to the gradual breakdown of the joint. Using glucosamine sulfate supplements help counteract this effect.
Other alternative treatment options include:

  • acupuncture
  • physical therapy
  • massage therapy

Healthy weight:

Maintaining a healthy weight plays a key role to managing OA of the knees. As Body fat is metabolically active, it is capable of producing hormones and chemicals that actually increase levels of inflammation.
You can control the calories by avoiding high-calorie foods in your diet. Try to dine in instead of out and eat smaller portions instead of heavy meals at a time.
Try eating soups as a starter to control hunger and fill up half your plate with fresh vegetables and fruits. Watch high cooking temperatures. Meat cooked at high temperatures makes compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), that can cause inflammation in your body.
These are linked to diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. If you cut back on grilled, fried, broiled, and microwaved meats, levels of AGEs can be reduced. Processed foods, are often cooked at high temperatures. So, limiting those can also be helpful.

Osteoarthritis diet:

Diet and nutrition are especially important if you have OA. Keep your weight in a normal range and maintain BMI to reduce unnecessary pressure on your joints.
For osteoarthritis of the knee, a diet high in flavonoids is recommended, which are found in fruits and vegetables. Also, the antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables may help combat the free radicals produced by inflammation. Free radicals are molecules that are produced by toxins and natural bodily processes and can cause cell damage. It is responsible for the free radical damage of the synovium which acts as the cushion between knee joints, along with the skin, eyes, or any other body tissue.
Certain antioxidants may help prevent osteoarthritis, slow its progression, and relieve pain. A high-quality diet including vitamin C, vitamin D, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids may help provide relief from OA symptoms by reducing inflammation and swelling. Increasing your intake of foods with anti-inflammatory properties will help also.

Vitamin C:

The antioxidant vitamin C helps in cartilage development. A lack of vitamin C can lead to weakened cartilage and increase OA symptoms.
Fruits and vegetables that has vitamin C include:

  • citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit
  • tropical fruits such as papaya, guava, and pineapple
  • All type of berries such as strawberries, raspberries
  • cantaloupe
  • kiwi
  • tomatoes
  • cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, and kale
  • bell peppers

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D can help prevent the breakdown of cartilage and decrease the risk of joint space narrowing. Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D found naturally.
Vitamin D-rich foods include:

  • fortified milk
  • eggs
  • seafood such as wild-caught salmon, cod, sardines, and shrimp
  • Other foods that are fortified with vitamin D or calcium include:
  • yogurt
  • orange juice
  • breakfast cereals
  • tofu

Beta carotene:

Another powerful antioxidant that helps destroy free radicals before they can cause excessive damage to joints is beta carotene. It gives fruits and vegetables their bright colors. Thus easy to identify. It include:

  • Carrot
  • tomatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, collard greens, mustard greens, and chard
  • greens such as romaine lettuce and spinach
  • peppermint leaves
  • winter squash
  • cantaloupe
  • parsley
  • apricots
  • asparagus

Omega-3 fatty acids:

Omega-3 fatty acids are the healthiest fats for people with OA, or other inflammatory disorders. It works by by suppressing the production of cytokines and enzymes that break down cartilage, thus decrease inflammation.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are:

  • ground flax seed and flaxseed oil
  • walnuts
  • salmon, either wild, fresh or canned
  • herring
  • mackerel, but not king mackerel
  • sardines
  • anchovies
  • rainbow trout
  • Pacific oysters
  • omega-3-fortified eggs

Bioflavonoids:

Bioflavonoids can be either quercetin or anthocyanidins. Both forms are antioxidants. The anti-inflammatory effects of quercetin may be similar to those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Good sources of quercetin include:

  • cherry tomatoes
  • broccoli
  • blueberries
  • lingonberries
  • apples with skin
  • red, yellow, and white onions
  • kale
  • leeks
  • black currants
  • cocoa powder
  • green tea
  • apricots

Spices:

Certain spices such as ginger and black pepper have anti-inflammatory qualities which can ease symptoms of oestoarthritis.The antioxidants found in the turmeric can help ease symptoms of oestoarthritis. Curcumin that is a major active component of turmeric may help osteoarthritis by suppressing inflammatory body chemicals.
You can use these spices in your diet in many ways. Grated fresh ginger can be added to stir fries, salad dressings, high-fiber, low-fat muffins. You can also sip ginger tea. Turmeric can be used in curries.


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