Nutrition and Joint Pain

January 27th, 2013
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There is a lot of discussion about the role of nutrition in joint pain, but there is no miracle diet that will help you control your arthritis pain. However, eating a healthy diet is important for everyone, and there are some ways that your nutrition can influence your health and help you manage your joint pain.  

If you have osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis caused by mechanical joint damage, eating a healthy diet can be very beneficial. If you are overweight, this can increase joint pain, especially if you have arthritis of your hip, knee or ankle joints. If you are being treated with corticosteroids to reduce joint inflammation, it is important to make sure that you eat a healthy diet because corticosteroids can cause weight gain and increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, especially in women. People on corticosteroids will benefit from taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to help to counteract the negative effects of corticosteroids on bone mineral density.

Most of the literature focuses on the effect of nutrition on rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease. The most important thing is to make sure that your diet is healthy, balanced and varied. A high intake of omega-3 fatty acids and the avoidance of nightshade family plants, such as tomatoes and potatoes, are commonly suggested as ways to help joint pain through your diet. There is not conclusive evidence for these claims, but it may help to some degree along with your medication for rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, flax seed and nuts; these fatty acids reduce inflammation. On the other hand, Omega-6 fatty acids, found in red meat, can increase inflammation. Getting enough vitamins, some of which are antioxidants, can also reduce inflammation. These tips also apply to other forms of arthritis that are caused by autoimmune conditions, such as psoriatic arthritis.

If you have joint pain due to gout, there are dietary changes you can make to reduce the amount of uric acid that builds up in your body. Low-carb diets should be avoided, as should the excess consumption of red meat.

Thank you to Pain.com for this information. Visit us at Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, P.C. for more information at 770-421-1420.

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