About 27 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis that can occur in any joint of the body. Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage between bones wears away, leaving patients with pain, stiffness, loss of flexibility and sometimes a grating sensation in their joints. The disability most commonly affects joints in the hands, neck, lower back, knees and hip, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
We recently got this question from a viewer:
Dear Dr. Manny,
I suffer from osteoarthritis. I take glucosamine, which seems to help tremendously. I would like to know if you recommend eating any specific foods that might ease some of my discomfort?
While there is no known cure for osteoarthritis, there are anti-inflammatory foods that can be added to a person’s diet, in addition to the glucosamine supplement that may help alleviate pain.
A patient may look to add foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, flaxseeds and walnuts. Adding olive oil, ginger and turmeric ingredients to meals may also help. A diet that limits foods causing inflammation like vegetable oils, margarine and shortening may also help cut down symptoms.
Beyond following a recommended diet, there are other treatment options available for osteoarthritis patients. Pain-relieving medications, physical therapy exercises, cortisone shots and even joint replacement surgery may all be explored as treatment plans.
Additionally, staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight may make osteoarthritis more manageable.
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Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.