Arthritis affects around 10 million people in the UK
Symptoms include joint pain, swelling and redness.
Many sufferers relieve pain by taking paracetamol and ibuprofen.
However, research published earlier this year in the British Medical Journal revealed that taking the latter painkiller - or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) - could increase risk of heart attack or stroke.
Fortunately, there are natural ways to treat or prevent joint pain, according to Dr Sarah Brewer, a GP and nutritional therapist.
Avoid uneven ground
“For people who are experiencing age or activity related joint symptoms, low impact, aerobic exercises such as swimming, cycling and walking are most beneficial,” she said.
“Avoid prolonged kneeling, squatting or walking more than 2 miles per day, however, which may have an adverse effect on joints.
“You should also avoid walking on rough or uneven ground.
“Gentle, regular exercise helps to maintain joint mobility.
“As well as strengthening muscles it boosts the flow of oxygen and nutrients to joint tissues – especially vital for cartilage which does not have a blood supply and must obtain its nutrients by diffusion.
“Exercise also helps to maintain the layer of lubricating synovial fluid over the articular surface.
“Avoid exercising if a joint is inflamed or swollen, however, until symptoms have subsided.”
Add spice to your diet
Dr Brewer also recommends adding particular ingredients to your diet.
“There is a surprisingly long list of natural substances that can help knee pain, from those that provide structural building blocks to those that have analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions,” she said.
“The ones I have found most beneficial in clinical and nutritional medicine practice are krill oil, turmeric, rose hip extracts, devil’s claw, cherry extracts and ginger root extract.”
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