Arthritis Facts

Arthritic Hand

If you suffer from arthritis, you may be surprised to learn that certain foods and cardiovascular exercise can reduce inflammation.

Arthritis is an equal opportunity condition. It is estimated that more than 40 million Americans suffer from some type of arthritis, from osteoarthritis, the most common form afflicting 16 million individuals, to crippling rheumatoid arthritis, a scourge affecting approximately two million Americans.

Despite the prevalence of the condition, there a surprising amount of myth and misinformation that gets passed around, resulting in ineffective treatments and prevention. One of the more prevalent misconceptions is that all arthritis is essentially the same. But there are actually around 100 different forms of the disease so it’s crucial to know what type you have so the most effective treatment can be determined.

The Best Exercises for Arthritic Knees

Researchers now believe that diet can be an important aspect of treating arthritis insofar as maintaining overall wellness. A diet rich in olive oil, veggies, lean meats, and fish are recommended. There has long been a pervasive belief that certain foods like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes made arthritis worse because of naturally occurring alkaloids. But there is no real scientific proof to back up this concern. To the contrary, studies seem to indicate these foods, sometimes called nightshade vegetables, even though potatoes are tuners and the others are technically fruits, could actually help minimize symptoms. Arthritis Today published a study that concluded yellow and purple potatoes might reduce inflammation in males. Other research showed individuals who ate foods high in lutein, such as tomatoes, were 70 percent less likely to develop osteoarthritis.

On the other end of the nutrition spectrum, the old wives’ tale that spices can cure arthritis is just that—a myth. While it’s true that certain spices such as ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties, there’s no indication they can provide significant benefit for arthritis sufferers.

Perhaps one of the most pervasive myths is that you shouldn’t exercise with arthritis. But just because something is uncomfortable or even mildly hurts doesn’t mean you are being injured. It’s actually healthy for your joints. No exercise leads to more deterioration. The best exercises are low impact activities such as aqua aerobics, walking, yoga, and Tai Chi.

Lastly, it’s important to know that arthritis is not just a disease that afflicts older adults. Anyone can develop arthritis, even toddlers. Research from the Centers for Disease Control found that more than 60 percent of those with arthritis are younger than 65 and other research showed that one in every 250 children suffer from the condition. So at the first sign of symptoms, it’s important to get checked out so the condition can be managed as soon as possible.

See also:
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
The Use of Electrical Modalities in Chiropractic Care
Causes of and Treatment Options for Spondylosis

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