Painful joints that make it hard to get out of bed and keep moving throughout the day is one of the most debilitating parts of growing older. One in twelve individuals over the age of sixty suffers from the degenerative joint disease known as osteoarthritis (OA). Osteoarthritis treatment requires an understanding of the causes and symptoms related to the disease. Armed with that understanding and several simple remedies, you can find relief from OA and extend the life of the joints affected by it.


What is osteoarthritis?

Though OA can cause pain in any joint, it is most common in the knees, hips, lower back, neck, fingers, thumbs and big toes. Unfortunately, these are also some of the most important joints for movement or performing tasks.

Among osteoarthritis causes are the breakdown of cartilage and the further erosion of that cartilage because of the inflammatory response which produces cytokines and enzymes. As cartilage breakdown worsens, there is a point where bone begins to rub upon bone.


Symptoms of osteoarthritis

What are some osteoarthritis signs and symptoms? The most common is sore and stiff joints combined with the following issues related to cartilage degeneration:

  • Limited range of motion
  • A clicking or cracking sound when moving joints
  • Inflammation around the affected joints
  • Pain tends to be worse after activity or in the evenings

As degeneration of the cartilage worsens, associated symptoms like bone spurs can also contribute to the worsening of the pain. These symptoms can be alleviated through a number of simple remedies which will help you gain control over the affects of OA.



Though it might seem counterproductive initially, studies indicate that exercise actually improves joint health. Besides the more obvious affects of exercise where weight control and cardiovascular health are concerned, the improved circulation provided through exercise leads to improved joint health.

Strength training has also been found to be beneficial for those suffering from OA. Among those who are at risk for OA or who experienced move severe symptoms, the atrophy of muscles in the upper thighs and core are common.


Weight Management

Being overweight or obese also has a significant effect on the further degeneration as well as the severity of symptoms associated with OA. Not only does the increased weight cause more downward pressure on hip and knee joints, but it tends to multiply the effects of a lack of circulation and increased muscular atrophy.

Research shows that as much as a 10% decrease in body weight coupled with exercise has a significant effect on reducing the affects of osteoarthritis.



Gentle massage is another effective treatment for reducing the pain and effects of OA. Among its benefits is improved circulation as well as improvement of muscle tone surrounding the affected area. Massage therapy also helps to restore better flexibility and improve the range of motion of the joints.

Pain relief using analgesic oils, creams and other compounds to help reduce pain and inflammation is also among the benefits of massage therapy on those suffering from osteoarthritis.


Osteoarthritis and Diet

In most cases, osteoarthritis prevention and reduction of symptoms can be achieved most effectively by maintaining proper control of one’s dietary habits. There are several foods to avoid with osteoarthritis because they contribute to the inflammation associated with OA. There are also several foods you should add to your diet because they fight against inflammation or hold cartilage degeneration at bay.


Foods to Avoid:

Processed Sugars
contributes to inflammation
High Fructose Corn Syrup
increases swelling
Processed salt
water retention and swelling around the joints
Processed foods
combination of water retention and inflammation
Fried Foods
increases inflammatory response.
Refined wheat flour products
encourage inflammatory enzyme production.
Dairy products
lactose has the same affect as processed sugars.
contributes to inflammation because it is sugar


Foods to Add:

Proteolytic enzymes
found in the core of pineapples helps to fight inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory Herbs
ginger and turmeric are the two most common inflammation fighting herbs.
Medium chain fatty acids
Found in coconut, avocado and olive oils help to reduce swelling.
Omega-3 fatty acids
found in wild caught salmon and other cold water fish also limit the response of inflammatory enzymes.
Potassium, calcium and magnesium
fight inflammation and improve joint health, they are found in spinach, pumpkin seeds, black beans and avocados.



The key components to finding relief for the symptoms of OA include improved circulation, strengthening of supporting muscle tissue, a reduction of weight and improved dietary habits. Though no known cure for osteoarthritis exists, osteoarthritis treatment and management can be effective if you utilize any or several of the remedies listed above.



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