Osteoarthritis is a clinical syndrome caused by abnormal wearing of the cartilage in the joints and the decrease or destruction of synovial fluid.
Cartilage is tissue that covers the ends of bones and acts as a cushion inside joints. Synovial fluid lubricates the joints and allows them to move smoothly. If articular cartilage wears away, it can expose the underlying bone, causing pain during weight bearing or movement. Inflammatory symptoms such as redness and swelling do not usually occur.
Onset is gradual, with pain increasing imperceptibly over month to years. Movements become restricted and the affected joints can demonstrate deformity in later stages. Decreased movement due to pain and stiffness can lead to loss of muscle and ligament tone in the long term.
Although osteoarthritis normally accompanies ageing, many experts now believe that osteoarthritis is a disorder caused by a genetic susceptibility combined with injury to the joint.
- Chronic pain in the large weight-bearing joints
- Loss of mobility
- Sharp aches or a burning sensation in the associated muscles and tendons
- Muscle spasms
- Affected joints may fill with fluid
- Crepitus – cracking sensation when the affected joint is moved or touched
- Joints can become enlarged, deformed or develop bony nodules
Dietary factors: a diet high in refined and processed foods, sugars, alcohol, bad fats, red meats and other anti-nutrients can greatly exacerbate arthritic pain. Conversely, foods that contain beneficial phytochemicals can help combat symptoms. Increasing these foods can make huge differences to the severity of arthritic pain, allowing more freedom of movement.
Consulting a qualified nutritional therapist is a useful way to identify the most important changes for you. We recommend our comprehensive NutrEval Test to identify your needs. Smart Nutrition can also help you with practical ways to incorporate these changes into your daily life.
Excess body weight: being overweight is a risk factor for osteoarthritis. The excess weight not only creates extra mechanical stress, but causes metabolic changes that predispose overweight people to the condition.
For those already suffering from osteoarthritis, maintaing their ideal body weight can help with managing symptoms.
Smart Nutrition practitioners are trained and experienced in metabolic health and weight loss, and can help you to lose weight safely and effectively. Please use the link at the bottom of the page to reach us.
Supplementation: many scientific studies support the efficacy of certain key nutrients in managing arthritis symptoms. Glucosamine and chondroitin can help to replace lost cartilage, whilst others help to tackle symptoms such as pain, stiffness and inflammation.
If you’re considering supplementation for your condition, Smart Nutrition’s qualified nutritional therapists can help you to choose the most effective combination of supplements for your individual symptom picture. Please use the link at the bottom of the page to reach us