What if you could reduce your arthritis pain by changing your breakfast?
What if your arthritis pain could be reduced by changing a few daily habits? Reducing your arthritis pain by changing your breakfast is easier than you think!
Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis experienced by Canadians, affecting 1 in 6 of us. Close to 20% of Canadians under the age of 50 report being affected by osteoarthritis.
For those that experience osteoarthritis (also known as OA), the pain can wax and wain and seems to follow no predictable course. Historically, OA has been a concern that you must endure.
As the name implies (-itis), osteoarthritis is indeed a condition associated with inflammation. The idea that OA is a wear and tear condition has been replaced with the understanding that inflammation plays a much more significant role in the condition than wear and tear. When inflammation levels in the body rise, the pain of OA can also increase.
A short summary of how this works is as follows; Repetitive wear and tear or destruction of joint cartilage due to higher than normal levels of inflammation in the body can cause the cartilage in the joints to become less elastic and stiff. These changes can signal the brain that something is awry in that particular joint. Joints have a large population of nerves that signal the brain as to what is happening in that specific joint. This information helps the brain determine what information it needs to send to the joint in terms of movement and balance.
When inflammation is present in a joint, the brain senses that something is ‘wrong’ and in turn, increases the inflammation at the joint. The body recognizes this change in the joint as something to fix. This is one of the processes by which inflammation can be increased.
To reiterate, OA can, in part, be caused by higher than normal levels of inflammation in the body, and it is also made worse by inflammation. This clearly points to the fact that reducing inflammation in the body will indeed help reduce the burden of osteoarthritis.
Diet and lifestyle considerations are paramount when discussing management options for OA.
“It is important never to underestimate the significance of a healthy diet and lifestyle as not only does it impact upon our general wellbeing but can alter the metabolic behaviour of our cells, tissues and organs leading to serious illnesses.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170512100413.htm?fbclid=IwAR0pYF9RfyRG5HbyDkc-1bntn93rk4-
A pro-inflammatory diet (lots of refined foods and high sugar) and lack of exercise can drive the process of inflammation and increase the degeneration and pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Rather than removing foods from the diet, most people find it easier to add foods into their daily routine that can help to reduce inflammation. One of my favourite additions is my “low back granola.” It’s full of a variety of medicinal foods that help reduce inflammation and, therefore, pain in the body.
Below are the ingredients of ‘low back granola” and all the fantastic ways they can help with the pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Walnuts- Source of omega-3 fatty acids. Many studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids help to lower overall levels of information, therefore reducing back pain.
Tumeric/curcumin- arguably the most potent natural inflammatory.
Coconut flakes/coconut oil- anti-inflammatory properties.
Almonds- almonds also have anti-inflammatory properties. They also contain fibre. Whenever we are in a state of heightened inflammation (as with low back pain), we need to be able to detoxify, getting rid of all those inflammatory byproducts. Almonds and other fibres, help move unwanted nasties from our bodies.
Maple syrup- contains antioxidants that help to reduce free radical damage. High levels of free radicals in our body increase overall inflammation and, therefore, pain.
Flaxseed- contains calcium. Calcium is a vital nutrient for the overall functioning of our nervous system. As a chiropractor, I focus every day on the nervous system. The spine and nervous system must work as well as possible to help people suffering from low back pain. Adequate calcium levels are necessary for proper nerve function.
Cinnamon- high levels of calcium, anti-inflammatory properties.
Hemp seeds- hemp seeds have all sorts of health benefits. Hemp seeds have high levels of potassium. Potassium is also imperative for proper nerve function. Low levels of potassium can lead to aching and cramping, especially in the low back muscles.
Chia seeds- chia seeds are a source of magnesium. Low levels of magnesium can lead to overall aches and pains. Proper muscle function is highly dependent on adequate magnesium levels.
Other daily habits that can help ease the burden of arthritis pain are a regular exercise routine, proper sleep habits and, most importantly, a nervous system that properly coordinates and regulates healing.
I realize this advice is not new, most of us have heard the advice “exercise, eat well and get adjusted” many times. There is a reason we hear this advice again and again. IT WORKS!
Want to learn more about controlling your OA through food, diet and chiropractic?
On November 20th Dr. Claire will be hosting an in-depth discussion about how to use food to manage OA. The talk will be held at Goodness Me at 7:00 pm.
If you would like to discuss your particular case further, Dr. Claire always offers complimentary 15-minute consultations to ensure she can help with your specific struggles.