Some recent research answers this question and provides some recommendations on what else you can do to help your arthritis. The first thing we need to know is what is happening in your joint that is causing these changes- There are specific inflammatory markers that if you are exposed to over a long period of time can cause cartilage damage and increase pain signals.
So the question becomes: how do I reduce this inflammation?
There are 3 simple things you can do:
- Take Omega 3 fish oils and glucosamine- Yes, they do work!
- When taken together they can effectively reduce pain and morning stiffness associated with arthritis- more so then if they are used individually. Surprisingly low dose fish oil tablets are more effective then high dose ones!
- The dietary supplement ‘phytalgic’ also reduces pain and stiffness by 50% and reduced NSAIDS usage.
- It is important to note that none of these supplements change the amount of cartilage lost.
- Exercise– How does this work when it is too sore to exercise my joint?
- Exercise plays an important part in reducing the inflammatory markers that cause the damage to your joint. And yes, while we know it is difficult to get started when you have a sore joint, we also know that certain types of exercises are more effective at reducing your pain and improving your function.
- Strength and cardio based exercises are the most effective and there are various level that you can start at depending on what stage you are at.
- We tailor the exercise to your needs to help maintain your joint health for longer and either post-pone an operation or prevent it entirely.
- Weight loss – I am sick of people telling me to lose weight, why does it matter?!
- Losing 10% of your body weight can effectively reduce inflammatory markers affecting your joint health and is in fact more effective then exercise alone.
- However, weight loss and exercise together are more effective than either one or the other.
In summary, it is a multi-faceted approach to managing your arthritis; weight loss, exercise and fish oil tablets used in combination can reduce pain and inflammation and improve function! The most important is; don’t wait until it is too late to do something; get started on managing your arthritis today.