Your diet plays a role in your overall wellness. Making appropriate changes to your diet can also address underlying health issues, including persistent joint pain.
At AABP Integrative Pain Care, we specialize in nonsurgical solutions to relieve joint pain that stems from arthritis and other chronic conditions. Our experienced pain management specialists can also recommend a nutritious diet plan you can follow to improve your joint function and health.
Joint dysfunction is often a side effect of degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis, a condition where the protective cartilage that lines your bones breaks down and wears away. Without sufficient cartilage, your bones rub together, creating friction that leads to ongoing joint inflammation.
Many people also experience joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that mistakenly causes your immune system to attack otherwise healthy joints. The attack inflames the soft tissues of the joints and, over time, can lead to joint deformities and disability.
Those who play sports or work manual labor jobs might experience inflammation and pain when they overuse their joints during repetitive activities. For instance, repeatedly throwing a baseball during practice and games can lead to a decreased range of motion and weakness in your joints.
When you’re looking to protect the long-term health of your joints, you should start with an anti-inflammatory diet. This type of diet focuses on limiting or avoiding refined grains, highly processed grains and packaged foods, and sugar to ease existing joint inflammation and prevent it from flaring up again.
Incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods into your daily meal plans can preserve the function of your joints. Our pain specialists may recommend foods like:
Fresh fruits and vegetables naturally contain many of the essential vitamins and minerals your body as a whole needs to function optimally. Try to include a range of colorful produce into your daily meals and as a replacement for unhealthy snacks.
Select healthy proteins like beans, legumes, chickpeas, and lentils that can reduce inflammation and make maintaining a healthy body weight easier. These protein sources are also a good source of fiber.
Pumpkin seeds, almonds, and other seeds and nuts contain important nutrients like vitamin E that offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other fish have known anti-inflammatory benefits. You can also take omega-3 supplements to reduce existing joint pain and prevent swollen and stiff joints.
There are a number of spices and herbs that have anti-inflammatory properties to support joint health. Incorporate herbs like rosemary, sage, and parsley into dishes. Spices like cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and ginger can also protect against inflammation.
While you should drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, you can also add more green and herbal teas to your diet to fight off joint inflammation.
If you’re already experiencing persistent joint pain, call the AABP Integrative Pain Care office in Brooklyn, Garden City, or White Plains, New York, to schedule an evaluation. You can also book an appointment online today.