Category Archives: Symptom Management

mediterranean diet for osteoarthritis

When Diet Worsens Osteoarthritis Pain

Before you take another bite of that convenient fast food meal, consider how it affects your osteoarthritis (OA).  Research shows that diets high in saturated fat – found in red meat, butter, cheese, lard and processed foods – can weaken knee cartilage, making it more prone to damage.

A 2017 study published in Arthritis Care & Research, researchers followed more than 2,000 patients with OA for up to four years, checking disease progression  and diet at yearly intervals. Participants who ate the most fat, especially the saturated kind, showed increasing joint damage, whereas those who ate healthy fats like olive oil and avocados had little disease progression. Another recent animal study showed that it even may harm the underlying bone, according to Yin Xiao, PhD, a professor at Queensland University of Technology in Australia and lead author of a 2017 study that looked at the effect of diet on OA.

“Our findings suggest that it’s not wear and tear but diet that has a lot to do with the onset of osteoarthritis,” he says.

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osteoarthritis shoe choice foot pain

Can Your Shoe Choice Help – or Hurt – Your Arthritis?

It is clear that physical activity is one of the best ways to combat osteoarthritis pain—but how important are your shoes, and which should you be wearing?

In addition to traditional treatment methods for OA, which include medication, physical therapy and even surgery, doctors now know that footwear can play an important role in knee OA.

Marian T. Hannan, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., has conducted research about foot mechanics and pain in the knee. “It is impressive to think that [footwear] makes a difference,” says Hannan. “Whether it’s their foot or brain or the whole package, it appears to work. As a proof of concept it is very appealing.”

There are a wide variety of shoe options available to consider, including stability sneakers, flat walking shoes, minimalist/barefoot sneakers, and rocker-soled sneakers, and an increasing amount of research that can help you decide which is right for you.

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exercise and weight loss for osteoarthritis

Nondrug Pain Relief Underused for OA

People with hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) use oral pain medications more often than nondrug pain treatments, such as physical therapy, knee joint injections and topical creams, according to an analysis of three clinical trials. That’s in spite of guidelines that recommend trying nondrug treatments before medications.

The analysis, which appeared recently in Arthritis Care & Research, looked at trials conducted by researchers at Duke University, the Durham Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, all in North Carolina. A total of nearly 1,200 patients ages 61 to 65 participated in the three studies. All participants had knee or hip OA, and most were overweight and treated by a primary care doctor. None got the minimum 150 minutes of physical activity a week recommended for good health.

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Healthy Fats and OA

A Diet of Bad Fats May Hasten Knee OA Progression

A diet high in fat, especially saturated fat, may speed up the progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA), whereas eating greater amounts unsaturated fat might slow it down, according to researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Their study, published recently in Arthritis Care & Research, is one of the first to look at the effect of diet on the rate of OA progression. The researchers say they undertook the study because diet plays a role in the development of many chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, and they suspected it might also be involved in osteoarthritis.
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Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Walking

Change the Way You Walk to Ease Knee Pain with Osteoarthritis

Overloaded or unevenly loaded knee joints can cause osteoarthritis (OA), or cause your OA to get worse. Learning how to walk differently may be able to correct the loading problem and reduce your knee pain. This approach is being studied in people with medial, or inner, compartment OA — which is 10 times more common than other forms of knee OA.
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hyaluronic injections knee osteoarthritis

Study Supports Hyaluronic Acid Shots for Knee Osteoarthritis in Certain Patients      

For some people with knee osteoarthritis (OA), hyaluronic acid (HA) injections can relieve pain and improve function – sometimes dramatically. During the procedure, hyaluronic acid– a substance similar to the naturally occurring gel-like lubricant that is found in the synovial fluid surrounding joints – is injected into the knee. Because people with OA have a lower than normal concentration of hyaluronic acid in their joints, the theory is that adding the lubricant to the arthritic joint will reduce pain and help with movement.

But HA injections, also called viscosupplements, don’t work for everyone: Studies have shown that between 30 and 40 percent of patients who are given HA shots for knee OA don’t experience a reduction in pain or an improvement in function. And studies have not provided any insight into which patients are most ­or least likely to benefit from them.
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Fish Oil Osteoarthritis

Does Fish Oil Fight Osteoarthritis?

While the use of nutritional supplements for osteoarthritis (OA) has focused largely on the duo of glucosamine and chondroitin, research suggests that a popular supplement for heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis may also help OA – fish oil. Fish oil is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids our body needs to function properly.

Most studies of the effectiveness of fish oil for osteoarthritis have been done on animals, but a few studies have also been done in humans.
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