We often get questions about the best medication to take for joint pain or arthritis. Usually, they already tried over the counter Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Often times, a doctor even prescribed an anti-inflammatory pain medication to address the symptoms.
Friends, family, and clients want to know about the side effects. Heart, liver, kidney disease caused by use or overuse of these medications. How about interactions with other prescription drugs?
So, what's my answer?
Well, our goal at Peak Potential Physiotherapy & Wellness is to:
"Empower our local community to transform their lives, stay independent,
& active without MEDICATIONS, injections, or surgery."
Alongside our treatment plans, I urge you to look into nutritional strategies that are going to naturally, decrease inflammation in your joints. And when I started to dig into the research, I was surprised to see strong scientific studies and validated literature about this.
I always knew nutrition was important to how our bodies worked. I never realized how powerful food can be. Especially in regards to prevention of, as well as healing pain.
When you have arthritis or joint pain, your body is in a state of inflammation. Therefore, the focus needs to be on adding food that reduces inflammation and cutting out foods that increase inflammation in the body.
So what are the top nutritional strategies you can start using today to decrease pain and inflammation?
1. Foods High in Antioxidants
Colorful foods are high in antioxidants. This includes food such as blueberries, cherries, spinach, and broccoli. Antioxidants support the immune system, which fights inflammation and joint pain.
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 Fatty Acids reduce joint swelling which leads to pain symptoms. Found in fish, nuts, and healthy oils, omega 3 is shown to decrease morning stiffness and progression of disease activity in both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
3. Increase Fiber
A high fiber diet increases something in your body called C-reactive protein. This leads to many inflammatory processes in the body causing joint pain, heart disease, and diabetes. Just increasing fruit and vegetable consumption to include 20-35 grams of fiber per day is found to decrease inflammation by as much as 1/3.
4. Cut out sugar and refined foods
Sugars and processed foods (think chips, cookies, donuts) trigger the release of inflammatory messengers in the body. To decrease inflammation, avoid foods with fructose or sucrose on the label. In addition, avoid refined carbohydrates (especially white flour products), and partially hydrogenated oils.
5. Supplement Appropriately
The most common nutrient deficiencies leading to arthritis symptoms are Vitamin C and D, selenium, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Deficits in these areas are known to contribute to osteoarthritis.
In addition, a probiotic supplement can help reduce inflammation. It helps by building up good bacteria in your intestines. Healthy foods, along with a good probiotic supplement can work together to keep joints healthy and your body strong.
Hippocrates says, "Let food by thy medicine". Therefore, any supplements you take need to be in addition to, NOT instead of a diet of healthy foods. Also, it isn't safe to abruptly stop taking a prescription medication without consulting your physician.
My advice, start implementing some of these strategies TODAY. When you see an improvement in your pain, talk to your doctor about the changes you are making.
Do you have any questions?
Do you need further guidance on balancing nutrition to decrease pain?
As a physical therapist and nutrition specialist, I have a unique perspective and strategy to help you achieve your goals through wellness coaching. Learn more about how working one on one with a wellness coach can fast track your success by clicking the link below.
You can even start with a Discovery Call with me, Dr. Amanda Ling, to get all your questions answered and help you take the next best step in your health journey. Click the link below to set up that free call!