Joint mobility is something that we easily take for granted until it’s gone.
And while the medical community puts a lot of emphasis of on the joint health of the knees, there are other often forgotten joints that can create even more challenges in your day-to-day life.
When arthritis begins to affect your hands, daily chores like cooking, gardening, and typing on a keyboard become a constant source of pain and annoyance.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a disease affecting the cartilage that connects two bones. It occurs when the top layer of cartilage deteriorates and the bones rub together, causing inflammation, joint stiffness, pain, limits to strength and mobility, and often, joint deformities.
It occurs when the top layer of cartilage deteriorates and the bones rub together, causing inflammation, joint stiffness, pain, limits to strength and mobility, and often, joint deformities (1,2).
Spurs can sometimes develop at the edges of the bone and small pieces of bone and cartilage can break off into the joint space, which increases pain and speeds up the rate of deterioration. The causes and risk factors of osteoarthritis (“arthritis”) are many and the condition often becomes worse over time.
Common causes include:
- Being overweight
- Old age
- Being female
- Joint injury
- Joints that are not properly formed
- A genetic defect in joint cartilage
- Stresses on joints caused by certain jobs and playing sports
There is no cure for arthritis as it is a degenerative disease. However, there are ways to relieve its symptoms and slow its progress.
- Moderate exercise
- Prescription and over-the-counter pain medication
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Tai chi and yoga
- Steroid injections
- Dietary supplements
You Are What You Eat
What you eat largely affects how well your body works and by extension, how you feel.
hat’s why western medicine is now acknowledging that certain foods can facilitate the development of arthritis and worsen its symptoms (3).
For example, dairy products seem to be a common culprit, as well as red meat and some fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, and citrus fruits).
There are potent anti-inflammatories found in nature that can ease arthritis pain and reduce general inflammation in the body. Some even work better than the medication you might be already be taking.