Can vitamins help with joint pain?
Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that causes stiffness and joint pain. Since there is no cure for the disease, sufferers must learn to manage it in the long term. It is possible to alleviate the symptoms that accompany the disease. Some people manage to eradicate the pain completely – without surgery. When making a diagnosis, a doctor will usually recommend instructor-led training and education. Diet is also relevant for both general health as well as joint pain, so it is not completely unimportant make sure you get all the different vitamins.
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Alternative medicine to treat osteoarthritis
A person with severe joint pain may experience a certain reluctance to exercise. Since there is no scientifically proven medicine for osteoarthritis, many people try to treat their joint pain with alternative medicine instead. In Sweden there are several health food stores offering vitamins and natural medicines to treat osteoarthritis. Common ingredients in these natural medicines include rose hip, turmeric and mussel extract. There is no documented evidence for the effect of these types of natural medicines, but many people with chronic pain want to try them anyway and see if they help.
Vitamins as medicine
Our bodies need to a range of vitamins on a daily basis. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to a number of deficiency diseases and other negative health conditions. There are several different vitamins which have beneficial effects on health and some of these are also said to alleviate osteoarthritis Our bodies need Vitamin C to build bones and cartilage. We need Vitamin D to regulate the calcium balance in the bones and teeth. Vitamins C and E are also seen as antioxidants to protect the body. Unfortunately, there is no scientific support that vitamins can help with osteoarthritis.
The idea of supplementing with additional vitamins, either through diet or in tablet form, is based on the fact that we do not get enough from the start. In fact, it is rarely good to get more than 100% of what you require. Even if this “overdosing” does not always cause negative effects, it doesn’t make anything better either.
Vitamins or pain relievers to treat osteoarthritis
In terms of vitamins and natural medicine as relief from the symptoms of osteoarthritis, the overall scientific opinion is that there are not sufficient documented results for health care providers to recommend them. Vitamins are not osteoarthritis medicine, but increased intake of them could have other positive health effects. For temporary pain relief, a doctor or physiotherapist will recommend non-prescription medicines if necessary in the form of paracetamol (sold as Alvedon and Ibumetin) or anti-inflammatory medicine (sold as Ibumetin, Diclofenac and Naproxen).
A balanced diet
The treatment for osteoarthritis which shows scientifically proven results is a change in your lifestyle. This includes regular, customized training in combination with increased physical activity and a varied diet. A healthy diet with fruit, vegetables, meat and fish will also provide you with an increased intake of vitamins and minerals. Even if these vitamins are not actually part of the treatment, they may contribute positively. For example, you may experience less tiredness and manage to be more physically active as a result. Starting to eat a healthier diet therefore has many positive effects for osteoarthritis patients.
For example, fruit often contains a high level of vitamin C, which has a positive effect on the immune system. If you keep healthy, it’s easier to be active. More nutritious food in combination with training may also contribute to weight loss, which has been shown to have a positive effect on people with osteoarthritis.
We can say that vitamins have an indirect positive effect on osteoarthritis. It used to be believed, for example, that an increased intake of Vitamin D could alleviate pain and improve joint function in people with osteoarthritis. Recent studies contradict this. However, a healthy diet containing a lot of different nutrients can provide increased energy, reduce the risk of infections and increase your desire to go out and do some exercise – and exercise is the best form of treatment for osteoarthritis.
Read more about treating osteoarthritis with herbal medicine.