Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the U.S. More than 30 million Americans suffer from it.
It’s caused by the breakdown of cartilage between joints, which acts as a cushion. It’s often called “wear-and-tear” arthritis. That’s because it strikes when the cartilage wears down from overuse or injury. Bone rubs against bone causing inflammation, swelling, and pain. It can be debilitating.
One of the most common mainstream treatments is corticosteroid (cortisone) injections.
A new study shows why you should say no if your doctor recommends them.
It was published in the journal Radiology. Researchers also analyzed data on 459 patients who received one to three corticosteroid injections in 2018.
The investigators found that the shots did far more harm than good. They discovered that the injections often sped up progression of arthritis in the hips and knees.
Eight percent of cortisone-treated patients developed serious complications within 15 months. These included stress fractures, cartilage loss, bone deterioration, and joint destruction.
Dr. Ali Guermazi was lead author. He doesn’t know exactly why corticosteroid shots damage joints. But he theorizes that they are toxic to cartilage.
4 Natural Osteoarthritis Treatments
Dr. Antonia Chen is a spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. She said patients should talk with their doctors about noninvasive approaches before turning to cortisone injections.
Here are four science-backed ways to relieve the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis…
- Walking. Research shows that brisk walking for at least 10 minutes a day allows patients to stave off disability brought on by osteoarthritis pain.
- Fish oil supplements. Researchers from the University of Surrey in England did an exhaustive analysis of 68 studies of diet and non-drug pain management for osteoarthritis. The researchers said that the essential fatty acids in fish oil reduce joint inflammation, which in turn alleviates pain. Osteoarthritis patients can reduce pain by taking 1.5 grams of fish oil a day.
- Vitamin K. Foods rich in vitamin K help prevent osteoarthritis and control pain. The nutrient promotes bone growth and repair.
Good sources of vitamin K include green leafy vegetables such as collards, kale, mustard greens, parsley, romaine lettuce, and spinach.
You can also get vitamin K through supplements. But don’t take them if you are on the prescription blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin). Vitamin K can decrease the effectiveness of the medication.
- Low-carb diet. Research shows a strong association between low carbohydrate intake and reduced osteoarthritis pain.
The basics of a low-carb diet are simple…
DON’T consume: sugary sodas, candy, white bread, pasta, potatoes, white rice.
DO consume: meats, poultry, eggs, tomatoes, broccoli, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, dairy, leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach.
With mainstream medicine, the “cure” is often worse than the disease. If you have osteoarthritis, go with safe, natural options that relieve your pain without making your condition worse.
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