Diet Modification for Treating Pain Related to Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis often causes extreme discomfort and pain, which usually worsens with time. There are different in-office and at-home treatments for this problem, but we believe you can benefit immensely by simply modifying your diet. 

Siatta B. Dunbar, DO, CAQSM, and the rest of our team are ready to show you how you can fight osteoarthritis and ease the pain. At our office in Burnsville, Minnesota, we recommend our patients take diet modifications seriously because changing what and how you eat could benefit you as much as — and potentially even more than — prescription medication. 

Modifying your diet for osteoarthritis pain

Osteoarthritis causes stiffness, pain, and swelling in the joints as cartilage breaks down from wear-and-tear. While there isn’t a cure for osteoarthritis, many of the treatments involve over-the-counter medications, creams, and ointments to reduce inflammation, as well as prescription drugs to minimize pain. But these are temporary solutions that are often just a mask for the symptoms. 

Research supports diet modification as a treatment for osteoarthritis pain. Cutting certain items out of your diet and increasing your intake of others can help minimize discomfort and inflammation. In fact, researchers have also found that these changes can help reduce the risk of developing other conditions that can worsen osteoarthritis pain. 

The negative effects of a bad diet

You can tell yourself that one cookie or pastry won’t make a difference, but what if we were to tell you it could be the difference between pain and relief? Avoiding certain items — especially sugar and refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and omega-6 fats — can benefit your body so much in the way of minimizing pain.

For example, when you eat lots of sugar, you’re actually encouraging an inflammatory response in your body. And that’s what you want to avoid.  

Weight loss can also help. You know that sugary foods, carbohydrates, and processed foods can cause weight gain. And that excess weight can put more stress on your already-inflamed joints. By losing weight, you reduce the stress on your joints and, therefore, the pain. 

Change your diet; reduce your pain 

No, a modified diet won’t cure osteoarthritis, but a few changes in your diet could be one of the best steps you’ll ever take to reduce your level of discomfort and pain while also protecting yourself from further issues. 

Eat more anti-inflammatory foods such as fish, walnuts, berries, grapes, and olive oil. Substitute fresh foods for processed foods. And add these to your diet: fruits and vegetables including dark, leafy greens, as well as lean protein. You’ll consume fewer calories and benefit from the higher nutritional value. 

We recommend starting with these dietary modifications in order to see some real change. 

Want to make an appointment to see Dr. Dunbar and learn more about the connection between diet and osteoarthritis? Just call us at 952-300-3133 today.

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