Enabling you and your family to heal in mind, body & spirit
Osteoarthritis - How to manage your pain - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

Osteoarthritis: How to manage your pain and have a better quality of life

An estimated 10% of Canadians over the age of 15 live with a diagnosis of osteoarthritis [OA] (1). 70% of these Canadians experience the majority of their arthritic symptoms in their hips and knees (1). Unfortunately, among Canadians with a diagnosis of arthritis, the average time between onset of their symptoms and an accurate diagnosis can be up to 7.7 years (1). This period between onset of symptoms and diagnosis of the disease could be spent making dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce pain and improve quality of life. By 2036 an estimated 7.5 million Canadian adults will have a diagnosis of OA.

So what are the symptoms of OA?

Increased stress and ageing of our joints leads to a breakdown of joint tissue known as cartilage. Cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones of our joints, and without it, bones begin to rub against each other. When cartilage is sufficiently worn down, joints are left with a bone-on-bone contact; limiting the range of motion. As a result, people with OA experience pain, stiffness, and swelling in their affected joints (2).

Lifestyle treatments for OA aim to reduce further injury, relieve pain, and improve joint function. Some of these procedures are as simple as self-management; avoiding repetitive stress on the affected joints. For example, musicians and dancers place repeated stress on their joints, and they may be at higher risk of developing OA. Obese Canadians are also at risk for OA, and adhering to a lifestyle plan of healthy eating and weight management will help to reduce the pain and damage of OA. Deep breathing and massage therapy can help to relax tense muscles around an inflamed and stiff joint (2). In some cases, joint replacement surgery is required to limit the damage of OA and provide a better quality of life.

So how can naturopathic medicine help with the prognosis of OA?

Naturopathic doctors can provide acupuncture, which has been shown to help with the pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion observed in OA.

Curcumin, a robust anti-inflammatory component of the spice turmeric, may help to reduce the pain and stiffness of OA (3,4).

Fish oil also has excellent evidence for use as a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant in OA (5).

Some people also benefit from a hypoallergenic diet; cutting out potentially aggravating foods that may be contributing to pain and dysfunction.

Finally, for topical pain relief, Boswellia serrata AKA frankincense oil mixed with your favourite carrier oil (think sweet almond, olive, coconut, etc.) and applied to your affected joints daily may help reduce inflammation and pain (6). In one study of 30 patients with OA of the knee, eight weeks of Boswellia extract significantly improved knee pain, swelling, range of motion, and walking distance compared to placebo (7).

If you are interested in learning more about how naturopathic medicine can benefit your arthritis, please book a visit with your local naturopathic doctor.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Do you have Osteoarthritis? What have you tried to help their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, https://www.ottawaholisticwellness.ca. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Complementary Therapies For Osteoarthritis - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

7 Best Complementary Therapies For Osteoarthritis

What are the best complementary therapies for osteoarthritis? What does science have to say about the subject?

Compared to conventional approaches there has been limited research into the effectiveness of complementary therapies and osteoarthritis.

That being said this article offers a brief outline of the available scientific evidence of complementary therapies for osteoarthritis and where to find them in Ottawa.

Complementary Therapies For Osteoarthritis

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that stems from Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM practitioners use needles to stimulate specific points on the body. Scientific research offers limited but promising evidence that acupuncture can help arthritis symptoms.

In a small 2017 pilot study published in the Journal of Pain Medicine, researchers concluded that acupuncture offered in the group setting was effective in reducing pain severity, pain interference, and depression in patients with chronic neck, back, or shoulder pain or osteoarthritis.

In a 2009 randomised study, published in the Journal Of Alternative Medicine, researchers found that Acupuncture improves symptoms of chronic shoulder pain diagnosed as osteoarthritis or rotator cuff tendonitis.

Acupuncture is widely available in Ottawa. In general, the best acupuncturists tend to be TCM practitioners.

2. Balneotherapy

Balneotherapy or spa‐therapy is an old and favorite therapy. It entails spending time in an indoor pool filled with mineral water at a temperature of between 31 to 34 degrees Celsius.

Research is insufficient but offers encouraging evidence that Balneotherapy can help osteoarthritis.

In a study published in 2007, researchers found that Balneotherapy was effective in treating people with knee osteoarthritis.

Balenotherapy is available at Spa Nordik in Chelsea, Quebec which is about 20 minutes north of Ottawa.

3. Chiropractic treatment

Chiropractic treatment is a system of complementary medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column, which are held to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs.

A small study of 10 people concluded that Chiropractic management of atlantoaxial or upper neck osteoarthritis yielded favourable outcomes.

Chiropractic treatment is widely available in Ottawa. All chiropractors in Ottawa should be a member of the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

4. Homeopathic Treatment

Homeopathic medicine views symptoms of illness as typical responses of the body as it attempts to regain health. Homeopathy is based on the idea that “like cures like.” That is, if a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, giving the person a tiny amount of the same material may cure the illness.

A relatively small but high-level scientific study found that homoeopathic gel was at least as effective and as well tolerated as the NSAID gel for treating osteoarthritis of the knee.

Homeopathy is widely available in Ottawa and is practised by Naturopathic Doctors as well as Homeopaths.

5. Massage

Massage Therapy is the rubbing and kneading of muscles and joints of the body with the hands, primarily to relieve tension or pain.

A high-level scientific study involving 68 subjects concluded that massage therapy seems to be efficacious in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Massage therapy is widely available in Ottawa. All massage therapists in Ottawa are registered with the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario.

6. Mud Therapy or Bath

A mud bath is a bath of mud, commonly from areas where hot spring water can combine with volcanic ash. Mud baths have existed for thousands of years and can be found now in high-end spas in many countries of the world.

A small study from Serbia found that Sulfur bath and mud packs lead to a significant decrease in pain intensity in patients with osteoarthritis.

Several spas in Ottawa offer mud bathing.

7. Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy also called proliferation therapy is an injection-based treatment used in chronic musculoskeletal conditions. It has been characterised as an alternative medicine practice.

A high-level scientific review paper concluded that prolotherapy for knee osteoarthritis might be appropriate for the treatment of symptoms associated with knee osteoarthritis.

Prolotherapy is available at the Ottawa Naturopathic Clinic in downtown Ottawa.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Do have osteoarthritis? What have you tried to help with their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, https://www.ottawaholisticwellness.ca. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

 

A Diet for Arthritis - Good and bad foods - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

A Diet for Arthritis: Good and bad foods

When considering what foods are good and bad for arthritis, both rheumatoid (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA), a great place to start it to address those that either create or reduce inflammation in the body.

By reducing the overall level of inflammation arthritic conditions can be improved.

There are three relevant facts to remember:

1. Anti-inflammatory diets are not a one-size-fits-all solution. We are all unique in our make up so what works for one will not work for another, so it will take some trial and error to find what works for each individual.

2. When seeking natural ways to improve your condition, it is not a quick, short-term fix; it is a lifestyle change that will need to be maintained long term if you wish to continue to experience the benefits.

3. Diet is only a part of the process, and many also find that moderate exercise will increase the positive effect of diet on arthritis pain.

Toxins in food

It is well known that pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilisers are harmful to us. They interfere with our gut health, and in turn affect our immune system and overall well-being.

Also, foods that are heated, grilled, fried, or pasteurised will contain toxins called “advanced glycation end products” (AGEs).

These toxins damage specific proteins in the body. To address these AGEs, the body recruits cytokines which are in themselves, inflammatory messengers.

http://icahn.mssm.edu/about-us/news-and-events/study-shows-that-reducing-processed-and-fried-food-intake-lowers-related-health-risks-and-restores-bodys-defenses

High amounts of sugar in the form of processed grains (white flour, white rice, many breakfast cereals), candies, soda etc. will also increase the number of AGEs in the body. If you like sweet snacks try to use natural, fibre rich fruits such as dates and figs.

Oils, the good and the bad

Omega 6

This is found in corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, and soy oils, and is healthy in small amounts. However, excessive consumption is detrimental as it is converted into pro-inflammatory leukotrienes and prostaglandins.

It is essential to be aware that many baked goods, commercial snacks and foods contain corn oil and other sources high in omega 6.

Omega 3

Omega 3 has been shown by many studies to be beneficial in reducing inflammation in manysome ways. It inhibits the production of other inflammatory molecules and also triggers the production of anti-inflammatory chemicals.

In particular, olive oil contains oleocanthal, which has properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.

Omega 3 can be found in fish, flax, hemp, chia.

Trans Fats

Trans fats are altered by the addition of a hydrogen molecule to increase stability and shelf life.

They are believed to impact inflammation, heart disease, and cause other health problems.

The dangers are becoming better known, and they have been removed from many products but can still be found in some baked goods, fast-food items, processed snack foods, and many kinds of margarine.

Antioxidants

Free radicals will cause oxidative stress in our bodies when their number exceeds our ability to process them.

Creation of these radicals is a normal part of metabolism, but production is increased by some activities such as smoking and consuming certain foods including alcohol, fats that have been heated to high temperature (including fat in meats) and chlorinated water (let your tap water stand for a while before drinking).

High oxidative stress is linked with arthritic conditions, both RA and OA.

The good news is that there are various antioxidants found in foods, these include those below (just a note that chocolate should always be at least 75% cocoa):

• Allium sulphur compounds: Leeks, onions, garlic

• Anthocyanins: Red and purple fruits – Eggplant, grapes, berries

• Beta-carotene: Pumpkin, butternut squash, mangoes, apricots, carrots, spinach, parsley, cantaloupe, sweet potato, carrots, kale,

• Catechins: Tea, dark chocolate

• Copper: Seafood, lean meat, nuts, legumes

Cryptoxanthins: Red peppers, pumpkin, mangoes, papaya

Flavonoids: Tea, green tea, dark chocolate, onion, apples

• Indoles: Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower

• Lignins: Sesame seeds, bran, whole grains, vegetables

• Lutein: Leafy greens – includes spinach, kale, chard

• Lycopene: Watermelon

• Manganese: Seafood, lean meat, nuts

• Polyphenols: Thyme, oregano

• Selenium: Seafood, offal, lean meat, whole grains

• Vitamin C: Berries, kiwi fruit, mangoes, broccoli, spinach, peppers

• Vitamin E: Cold pressed vegetable oils, nuts, avocados, seeds, whole grains

• Zinc: Seafood, lean meat, nuts

• Zoochemicals: Red meat, offal, fish

An anti-inflammatory diet cuts down or eliminates foods suspected of causing oxidative stress and encourages the consumption of foods rich in antioxidants.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Do you have Osteoarthritis? What have you tried to help their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, https://www.ottawaholisticwellness.ca. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact