May 1, 2015


Do you feel your joints more in the cold?

As the temperature drops, many people find that their arthritis becomes more painful. Movement becomes harder due to the shorter, colder days and this just makes things worse.

Here are some tips for helping painful joints:
Anti-inflammatory medicines such as Celebrex (on prescription from your doctor), or Nurofen (available over the counter in the pharmacy) are effective and useful for short-term use.

Glucosamine and chondroitin: A recent study has shown this combination is just as effective for arthritis in the knee as Celebrex, a prescription anti-inflammatory drug. Researchers looked at the effect of these treatments and found them to be the same in terms of pain, swelling and stiffness. And how do they work? Glucosamine is one of the building blocks of cartilage which protects the ends of the bones, allowing them to move smoothly against one another. Chondroitin helps to draw water into the cartilage, making it spongier and therefore more effective. This explains why you need to take this combination for 4-6 weeks before you see the full benefit.

Fish oil: Omega-3 oils reduce inflammation, help to control symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness, and reduce reliance on anti-inflammatory drugs, reducing the risk of side effects. The recommended dose for arthritis is 3000mg per day and you need to take them for up to three months to gain the full effect of treatment.

Turmeric: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to be as effective as Nurofen for the treatment of osteoarthritis. It is better tolerated in terms of its side effects on the gut. It is available in tablet form, which makes it easier to take, and is formulated to improve absorption
and efficacy.

Diet: A diet low in processed foods and high in vegetables, fish, nuts, beans and healthy fats reduces inflammation and is associated with an improvement in symptoms of arthritis. This is the ‘Mediterranean Diet’, which I have written about here previously.

Ask us in the pharmacy and we can give you some more information.

Pharmacy & Nutrition by Diana Boot