OSTEOARTHRITIS PREVENTION & MANAGEMENT
If you’re feeling discomfort in your knees or hips as you walk, you may have some degree of osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type of arthritis. You wouldn’t be alone – 3 out of every 5 people over age 60 has OA, but younger people develop it as well. Symptoms can include joint pain, joint swelling, muscle weakness and decreased range of motion. OA most often involves the knees, hips or finger joints.
Fortunately, you may be able to help prevent or delay development of OA, or at least lessen discomfort and disability associated with OA, through simple dietary and lifestyle measures. As your partners in yourwellness, Harris Teeter is here to help.
Be sure to check with your doctor as soon as possible if you suddenly develop pain, swelling or redness of your joints. OA is not the only source of joint discomfort, and some causes require immediate medical attention.
The Top 5 Things You Can Do To Help Treat OA
1. Maintain an appropriate weight and eat well. When carrying more weight on your frame than you should, you also put more pressure on knee and hip joints that may already be damaged and inflamed. Getting your weight down to a healthy range over time may help prevent further joint damage and lessen joint pain.
Since inflammation is an important part of the process of OA, eating in ways that might decrease inflammation in the body could help minimize symptoms. Refer to the next section for more information on the anti-inflammatory diet.
2. Exercise appropriately. Those of us with OA might cringe at the thought of beginning an exercise program out of fear of experiencing significant pain. However, research suggests that appropriate exercise (both aerobic and strength training) can be important in helping to ultimately relieve symptoms and prevent further damage to joints. Exercise may help maintain the health of the muscles and connective tissues that surround your joints.
Good exercise options include walking and water exercises (even walking in a pool provides a great aerobic workout, and against resistance!). One of the best ways to get started is to seek the counsel of a good physical therapist who can design a program that is right for you. Speak to your doctor to see whether physical therapy would be of benefit.
Another way to promote joint health is working to maintain good range of motion and flexibility. Would you believe that even those of us with OA could benefit from a regular gentle practice of yoga? It’s true! See the section in this brochure on Yoga for Joint Health for more information.
Please do not exercise a part of your body where a joint is inflamed (warm, painful and swollen), because you may create more damage.
3. Take your pain medication appropriately. There is no need for anyone to experience chronic pain when there are so many good medical options available, both conventional and complementary, that can help relieve pain. If you are experiencing pain please speak with your doctor soon - your doctor can guide you towards appropriate treatment that can help safely lessen inflammation and your discomfort. Later in this e-guide we provide information on complementary medical therapies for pain relief.
4. Use ice or moist heat. Both can help relieve pain associated with OA, but applying ice to an inflamed joint can help decrease swelling, while moist heat can help relieve muscle pain. Use caution so as not to burn yourself!
5. Use aids as necessary. A cane or a walker can help lessen stress on inflamed hip or knee joints while permitting you to continue your daily activities. If you need it, using one is not a sign of weakness – you’re being kind to yourself!
THE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET
Inflammation is a word frequently associated with arthritis, but you may be hearing it a lot more lately as a possible cause of everything from heart disease to cancer and diabetes. Because of this, anti-inflammatory diets are gaining in popularity. The premise of these diets is that the best defense against inflammation-related illnesses may be eating the right foods.
How Might An Anti-inflammatory Diet Work?
The process of inflammation in the body can be helpful when you have a wound or infection that needs to heal. When inflammation occurs inappropriately, however, it can cause damage in the body. The goal of this diet is to eat a higher ratio of foods that may decrease inflammation in the body (those that contain omega-3 fatty acids, for example) in comparison to foods that may increase inflammation (like those that contain omega-6 fatty acids).
The specifics of any given anti-inflammatory diet may vary, but the basic principles that most follow include:
• Eat cold water fish at least twice a week. The goal is to increase omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, and cold water fish is an excellent source. Alaskan salmon, herring, sardines and trout are all good choices. Walnuts and ground flax seeds are also sources of omega-3 fatty acids. For those who don’t enjoy fish, a good fish oil supplement may be of benefit (please speak with your doctor first).
• Limit safflower, sunflower and corn oil. These are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Instead use extra virgin olive oil or expeller-pressed organic canola oil, both of which are high in health-promoting monounsaturated fats.
Omega-6 fatty acids, while important for good health, may increase infammation if consumed in excess; thus, the idea is not to eliminate foods containing omega-6 fatty acids, but to improve the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid intake.
• Lessen your intake of trans fats. Trans fats have been consumed in abundance in the U.S. for many years, especially in baked goods and fried food. Initially introduced to help enhance the shelf-life of foods, trans fats have been found to increase LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) levels and may promote inflammation in the body. Food labels now carry information on trans fat content, so do your best to avoid foods that contain them.
• Eat plenty of vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables. They are packed with antioxidants which have long been thought to fight inflammation and help prevent disease.
• Eat fewer highly processed and refined foods. This recommendation would include baked goods like white bread, and high sugar cereals, juices, candies and soda (you can treat yourself every so often, however).
• Moderate your intake of animal protein. Research suggests that doing so may help reduce inflammation.
• Add some spice to your life. Spices like turmeric and ginger possess natural anti-inflammatory activity that may help relieve joint discomfort.
Some of you may have heard that foods like peppers, tomatoes and eggplant (so-called “nightshades”) may worsen symptoms of arthritis. Research does not support this precaution, so it appears you can enjoy these foods even if you have OA.
PAIN MANAGEMENT OPTIONS
Complementary Medical Therapies For Pain Relief
Select complementary and even some alterative therapies have been studied to determine which are safe and effective in the setting of OA. Research suggests that the following therapies might be included as part of a good overall approach to managing OA. Be sure to include your doctor in the process of deciding which therapy and practitioner might be appropriate for you.
Acupuncture - studies point to an apparent benefit of acupuncture for the relief of pain associated with OA of the knee or hip. Have your doctor help you identify a licensed practitioner. Remember, it may take up to 4-5 sessions if you are to notice benefit (in experienced hands the needles really don’t hurt much at all - honest).
Massage – massage therapy may help lessen muscle spasms around inflamed joints, and recent evidence suggests that gentle hand massage may help relieve the discomfort associated with hand arthritis. Again, your doctor should be able to direct you to an experienced and licensed practitioner.
Use your mind – research consistently shows that chronic stress can worsen inflammation in the body. While we can’t totally do away with stress in our lives, we can explore new methods of managing stress, some of which have been shown to also decrease pain. As an example, regularly practicing certain forms of meditation, especially those that emphasize relaxation and peace, can help lessen discomfort.
Glucosamine – the majority of research studies assessing this supplement for OA have shown significant benefit with regard to symptom relief. Although often combined with other ingredients, glucosamine alone is usually effective and safe. Initial concerns about glucosamine raising blood sugar levels appear to be inaccurate, but always speak with your doctor first before taking any new vitamin or supplement.
Yoga For Joint Health
No, we’re not trying to convince you to stand on your head or turn yourself into a pretzel! Simple yoga poses and breathing techniques may help to gently increase flexibility, improve balance and enhance comfort. The key word is gently.
“Partner with a good yoga instructor, perhaps even try a few one-on-one sessions, to help you develop a personalized program that is safe and promotes comfort,” says yourwellness team member Beth Avery, certified nutritionist and yoga instructor.
Seek out classes that emphasize “restorative yoga,” the most gentle form. It is important to find a reputable class (check at a local yoga studio, health club or YMCA) and always start slowly. Also, be sure to tell the instructor about your arthritis so that he or she can tailor the poses to suit your needs.
Yoga dates back 5000 years and only relatively recently has become popular in the U.S. There are many different styles of yoga but all consist of physical poses, which when done correctly, can leave you feeling well both mentally and physically.
Arthritis sufferers often find that gentle forms of yoga offer significant benefits including:
No pain, no gain? Not during yoga therapy – if you feel discomfort during one of the poses, back off the pose or simply stop and relax.
- Increased muscle strength
- Better balance
- Improved flexibility
- Lessened stress
- Decreased pain
Orange Ginger Carrot Soup
|10 oz Farmers Market carrots, shredded
2 cups Harris Teeter Farmers Market squeezed orange juice
1 cup Farmers Market leeks, chopped (white only)
¼ cup H.T. Traders Orange Blossom Honey
1 tsp grated Farmers Market ginger
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste
½ cup Harris Teeter plain yogurt (hold 2 tablespoons to the side for garnish)
In a medium sauce pan, combine all ingredients except the yogurt. Simmer for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. Remove from stove and pour contents into blender. Blend until smooth, add yogurt, blend again, pour into bowls. Garnish with remaining yogurt and serve. Serves 2.
Pickled Herring and Bean Salad
|12 oz jar of herring in wine sauce
16 oz HT Naturals Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
16 oz HT Naturals Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
16 oz HT Naturals Whole Kernel Corn, drained and rinsed
10 oz bag of Farmer’s Market carrots, shredded
1 small Farmers Market red onion, sliced thin
2 oz HT Naturals Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Farmers Market basil, chopped
6 oz of mesclun baby salad blend
In a large mixing bowl, combine herring, beans, corn, carrots, red onion, olive oil and chopped basil. Toss well, add salt and pepper to taste. Make bed of mesclun salad mix in large bowl or on individual plates, place herring and bean salad on center of greens and serve.
Sweet Potato and Mango Chutney
Broiled Trout with Turmeric Mustard Aioli and Toasted Pecans
|2 large Farmers Market sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Farmers Market mango, peeled, de-seeded and diced
2 cups of mango juice
Zest and juice from one medium Farmers Market orange
1 cup Farmers Market leeks, chopped
3 tbsp H.T. Traders Orange Blossom Honey
2 tbsp pickled ginger, chopped
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp turmeric
In medium sauce pan, combine all ingredients, bring to boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 35-40 minutes or until almost all liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally. Remove from stove, serve warm or chilled on top of favorite fish, chicken or pork dish.
Blueberry Fruit Blend Cobbler
|2 butterflied whole and deboned trout
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
4 tbsp Harris Teeter deli style mustard
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp Farmers Market squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp Farmers Market ginger, shredded
5 oz H.T. Traders Sweet & Spicy Pecans, chopped finely
1.5 oz HT Naturals Raisins, chopped
Butterfly and debone trout (or have your Fishermans Market Seafood Captain take care of this for you), place fish skin side down on a broiler pan sprayed with oil. To prepare aioli, combine mayonnaise, turmeric, mustard, lemon juice and ginger. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix until combined, spread a generous amount on the flesh side of trout, combine pecans and raisins evenly and sprinkle generously on top of aioli. Place under broiler at 450 degrees at middle level of oven and broil for 10-12 minutes or until flaky and golden brown. May be served accompanied by HT Naturals Basmati Brown Rice Pilaf.
4 cups HT Naturals Organic Frozen Blueberries
2 cups HT Naturals Frozen Fruit Blend (strawberries, mango, pineapple)
¼ cup HT Traders Orange Blossom Honey
¼ cup HT Traders White Grape Juice
¼ tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
In saucepan, combine all filling ingredients, bring to boil and remove from stove.
¼ cup of whole wheat flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp allspice
Pinch of salt
½ cup fat free lemon yogurt
1 large Harris Teeter egg
2 tbsp HT Naturals Honey
2 tbsp Harris Teeter unsalted butter
Combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Combine all wet ingredients and mix well. In the dry ingredients bowl create a hole in the middle of the mixture and pour wet ingredients in the center of the hole. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a pie dish, sprayed with oil, add blueberry fruit mixture, top with biscuit topping mix and bake in 375° until golden brown.