Osteoarthritis mainly affects joints in the hands, knees, hips, lower back and neck. The condition can emerge at any age, but it becomes more common in people over the age of 50. Are you affected? The charity Arthritis Foundation noted citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits and limes, can help maintain healthy joints with osteoarthritis. Any citrusy foods rich in vitamin C can help to prevent inflammatory arthritis too.
The progressive disease may occur due to joint overuse in certain professions, obesity, weak muscles, or joint injury.
Early signs of osteoarthritis include achey joints, especially after long activity or at the end of the day.
Joints may feel stiff first thing in the morning or after periods of resting.
Swelling could occur around an affected joint, or there may be “clicking or cracking sounds” when a joint bends.
In the fingers, bony growths at the edge of joints can cause them to become swollen, tender and red.
When it comes to the feet, the big toe tends to feel painful or tender, and the ankles and toes may become swollen.
To help any pain associated with osteoarthritis, the charity recommends a variety of foods to ease inflammation.
In addition to citrus fruits, fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also help – examples include salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring.
Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t the only inflammation fighting ingredient you can find in food, soybeans are just as good – think tofu or edamame.
Extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, which has properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.
Keeping to natural remedies to decrease painful symptoms of arthritis, broccoli contains a special compound called sulforaphane.
Sulforaphane “could help prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis” said Arthritis Foundation.
Garlic, onions and leeks may also help prevent signs of osteoarthritis from appearing.
“Researchers believe the compound diallyl disulphine found in garlic may limit cartilage-damaging enzymes in human cells,” said the charity.
Although there’s no cure for osteoarthritis, non-drug methods such as diet, and exercise could help ease the pain.
It’s important to try and get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week.
Exercise will help strengthen muscles, improve range of motion, keep weight off and slow down joint damage.