Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint. The term is family but poorly understood. For example, it is not a single disease but an umbrella term for a range of conditions. Another misconception is that arthritis only affects the joints.
According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), affected fingers and toes can resemble swollen sausages, a condition often referred to as dactylitis.
“Recent research suggests that persistent inflammation from psoriatic arthritis causes joint damage later, so early accurate diagnosis is essential,” says the ACR.
How to treat arthritis
Living with arthritis can greatly diminish quality of life by making it hard to perform even basic tasks.
Unfortunately, arthritis cannot be cured but it can be treated by making healthy lifestyle decisions.
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While there’s no miracle diet for arthritis, many foods can help fight inflammation and improve joint symptoms.
“For starters, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and beans but low processed foods and saturated fat, is not only great for overall health, but can also help manage disease activity,” explains the AF.
Many of these items can be found in the Mediterranean diet, which has been linked to a host of health benefits.
In fact, a Mediterranean diet can reduce markers of inflammation in people with osteoarthritis, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Kent and published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging.
“Combined with a healthy, balanced diet, regular exercise will help you lose weight and place less strain on your joints,” explains the health body.
It adds: “Your GP can recommend the type and level of exercise that’s right for you.”
Exercise does not have to be very vigorous to produce benefits.
Health body Arthritis Action explains: “Even gentle stretching or Tai Chi can improve balance and help keep the joints moving, and simple walking can dramatically improve fitness and reduce joint pain.”