Osteoarthritis Remedy and Treatment

Osteoarthritis is symptomatic of progressive joint destruction, which is promoted by mechanical overloading or improper loading on the major body joints such as knees and hips. The late stages of the disease usually ends with severe inflammation, intense pain and the complete destruction of the affected articular cartilage. Conventional osteoarthritis remedy and treatment include non-steroidal painkillers such as ibuprofen or diclofenac to help minimise pain and improve mobility.

However, long-term use of these drugs have many side effects and can predisposed patients to gastrointestinal damage, kidney failure, damage to blood vessels or even trigger cardiac death1.

Thus, there is a growing emphasis on researching natural alternatives that can help to alleviate pain and improve joint health. Natural osteoarthritis remedies focus on gentle joint movement exercise, diet and supplements.

Gentle Joint Motion for Osteoarthritis Remedy and Treatment

Joints are very sensitive to overloading and malnutrition. Paying close attention to joint health while you are young can make a big difference later in life. In addition to a healthy diet, maintaining regular moderate exercise is the best way to prevent osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, most people fail to pay enough attention to their joints and only when motion becomes restricted or pain surfaces do they attempt to address the problem2.

Lightweight running on soft ground not only strengthens the thigh and hip muscles, but also stabilises the kneecap, which makes it a very helpful osteoarthritis remedy. Anyone suffering from cartilage damage, or would simply like to reduce exposure to increased joint wear is encouraged to regularly participate in activities such as cycling, swimming and jogging. The advantage of swimming and cycling is that it is difficult to strain the joints; instead these activities only work to strengthen the muscles, ligaments and associated joints.

Osteoarthritis Diets are for Everyone

Strictly speaking, the recommended diet for patients with osteoarthritis is not much different from a normal and balanced diet.  Osteoarthritis patients are recommended to consume low-fat, vitamin-rich food.  Particularly calcium-rich and lean dairy products, as these are important for strengthening bones. Olive oil and other high quality vegetable fats are also ideal as they supply the body with healthy fatty acids.  High-fibre foods such as brown rice or vegetables are also recommended as they help to lower cholesterol.

One study has clearly demonstrated the positive effects of fruits and vegetables in an osteoarthritis diet. Hip joint damage was much lower for those subjects who ate fruit and vegetables daily. These results were further improved when participants increasingly used garlic in their diet3.

It’s generally recommended that patients suffering from joint problems cut back on meat consumption. A meat-rich diet directly affects the inflammation of arthritic joints4. The fat contains arachidonic acid from the group of omega-6 fatty acids. This is converted into prostaglandins in the body. Since prostaglandins are among the pro-inflammatory substances, meat consumption increases in joint inflammation. In addition to meat, foods such as coffee and alcohol should be avoided to minimize acidification of the body.

Natural Supplements to Protect the Articular Cartilage

The most natural way to safeguard against osteoarthritis is through a healthy lifestyle combined with adequate exercise. Dietary supplements can also be a helpful osteoarthritis remedy, especially in the advanced stages of the disease.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids DHA and EPAosteoarthritis remedy omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help reduce the reliance on painkillers. These compounds can help to minimise inflammation and lower pain severity. By reducing the need for painkillers, it’s possible to minimise the negative side effects of prolonged use of these pharmaceutical drugs5.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Substances such as glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen, and vitamins C and E are closely linked to cartilage health. They fight inflammation and promote a better range of motion in arthritic joints. Chondroitin sulfate supplementation has been shown to decrease inflammation and pain in the joints, helping to preserve joint function and slow joint deterioration. It therefore preserves joint function and may slow joint deterioration, which makes it an extremely useful osteoarthritis remedy6.

Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Vitamins often act as free radical scavengers and thus may slow joint destruction. Free radicals attack the cartilage and damage the cartilage cells. Vitamin E is especially beneficial for minimizing free radical formation and thus could be used as an osteoarthritis remedy 7.

Pine Bark Extract as an Osteoarthritis Remedy

Extracts of pine bark have been the subject of many studies recently. It has been shown to help improve pain symptoms and enhance joint mobility. The underlying anti-inflammatory effect of pine bark extract is attributed to the high concentration of polyphenols and minerals8.

Phospholipid Creams

A novel pain osteoarthritis remedy involves a phospholipid-based cream that stabilizes the arthritic cartilage and reduces inflammatory reactions. A recent study has confirmed that phospholipid creams could help to reduce the reliance on painkillers for osteoarthritis patients9.

  1. “Schjerning Olsen et al., 2013. Cause-Specific Cardiovascular Risk Associated with Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs among Myocardial Infarction Patients – A Nationwide Study. PLOS One 8 (1), e54309, doi:. 10.1371/journal.pone.0054309.”
  2. “Holsgaard-Larsen & Roos., 2012. Objectively measured physical activity in patients with end-stage knee osteoarthritis or hip. J Phys Med Rehabil EUR 48 (4), 577-85.”
  3. “Williams et al., 2010. Dietary garlic and hip osteoarthritis: evidence of a protective effect and putative mechanism of action. BMC Muscoskeletal Disorders 11, 280.”
  4. “Baker et al., 2012. Association of plasma n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with synovitis in the knee: the MOST Study. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 20 (5), 382-387.”
  5. “Gruenwald et al., 2009. Effect of glucosamine sulfate with or without omega-3 fatty acids in patients with osteoarthritis. Advances in Therapy 26 (9), 858-871.”
  6. “Henrotin et al., 2010. Chondroitin Sulfate in the Treatment of Osteoarthritis: From in Vitro Studies to Clinical Recommendations. Therapeutical Advances in Muscoskeletal Diseases 2 (6), 335-348.”
  7. “Beer & Wegener, 2011. Vitamin E for gonarthrosis and coxarthrosis – results of a postmarketing surveillance study. MMW Fortschr Med 153 (Suppl1), 14-20; Bhattacharya et al., 2012. Efficacy of vitamin E in knee osteoarthritis management of North Indian geriatric population. Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis 4 (1), 11-9.”
  8. “Belcaro et al., 2008. Treatment of osteoarthritis with Pycnogenol. The SVOS (San Valentino osteo-arthrosis Study). Evaluation of signs, symptoms, physical performance and vascular aspects. Phytother Res 22 (4), 518-23; doi: 10.1002/ptr.2376.”
  9. “Conaghan et al., 2013. A multicentre, randomized, placebo-and active-controlled trial comparing the efficacy and safety of topical ketoprofen in Transfersomes gel (IDEA-033) with ketoprofen-free vehicle (TDT 064) and oral celecoxib for knee pain associated with osteoarthritis. Rheumatology 52 (7), 1303-1312; doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ket133.