According to the latest research, almost 10 million people in the UK now live with osteoarthritis. A quite staggering figure.
Given its prevalence, it’s perhaps unsurprising that it’s regularly the focus of news articles, blog posts and videos, many of which touch on the latest scientific research.
Each month, the Flexiseq team scours the web for the osteoarthritis-related stories that have caught our eye.
Here’s our latest roundup…
The Daily Express, quoting experts at the Arthritis Foundation, focus on the health benefits of drinking tea. Green, white and black varieties all contain polyphenols, compounds from plants have strong anti-inflammatory effects. Green tea is highlighted as being particularly good for those living with osteoarthritis. Time to put the kettle on and read this piece on essential ingredients to help your arthritis.
If you weren’t aware already (what do you mean you’ve not been reading our blogs?), there are also a number of foods that you should avoid if you have arthritis. Butter, cream cheese, fatty meats, meat products, cakes and biscuits are all listed by the British Nutrition Foundation with the Daily Express going into a little more detail on why they shouldn’t be a mainstay of your diet.
Does arthritis pain get worse just before it rains? It's a question that has been doing the rounds for years, but what do the experts say? According to the Editors in Chief at Harvard Women's Health Watch studies haven't found consistent evidence of a link. That's not to say they won't in the future, but research in 2017 analysing insurance data from 11 million US patients shows that more people made hospital visits for arthritis or joint-related pain on dry days rather than wet ones. We're not scientists, but it could just be more appealing going outside when it's dry?
When it comes to relieving the pain of osteoarthritis, particularly in the hip or knee, the first port of call is often paracetamol. Interestingly, a new study conducted by the Cochrane Library has high-certainty evidence confirming that paracetamol has “minimal, probably clinically unimportant benefits in the immediate and short term for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis”.
A separate study by the Cochrane Library, again reviewed by ‘Evidently Cochrane’, has analysed the use of exercise to manage pain caused by osteoarthritis in the hip and/or knee. The results show that exercise probably slightly improves physical function, pain and depression and may also improve confidence in what they can do and their social interaction.
Medical News Today also reports on how brisk walking can benefit people with osteoarthritis. Over 1,500 seniors living with the condition in the US were followed clinically for four years. Participants who got at least one hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week had no trouble performing daily tasks and reduced the risk of mobility-related disability by 85 percent.
We’ve been saying much the same on Flexiseq for years - it’s so important to stay active and to keep moving!Finally, could caterpillars hold the key to a new treatment for osteoarthritis? Well, maybe. Medical Express reports that Cordycepin, a substance extracted from a fungus that infects our many-legged friends, has proved to be effective in treating osteoarthritis by blocking inflammation. The bods at the University of Nottingham hope the compound, often used in medicines in the Far East, could be the building block for a new class of pain killer.