September 8, 2021
If you experience chronic joint pain from osteoarthritis (arthritis), different lifestyle habits – like maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly – may help to improve your discomfort.
“Patients often ask why they continue to have some joint pain after completing a new exercise program,” says Stephen G. Silver, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in arthroscopic treatment of the shoulder, knee, and elbow. “I tell them exercise is only half the battle. As somebody who specializes in treating joint pain, I’ve certainly come to recognize how patients can help themselves out by changing their diet.
Your diet may also help to minimize joint pain, in part because a healthy diet may contribute to weight loss, but also because certain foods help fight inflammation, which can exacerbate joint pain.
There’s no such thing as an “arthritis diet,” according to the Arthritis Foundation, but you may notice less pain if you eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and healthy protein sources while limiting your intake of sugar, processed foods and saturated fats.
Bulking up on protein isn’t recommended for people with arthritis-related joint pain, but including certain protein-rich foods in your diet may help to relieve some of your discomfort. Other protein-rich foods may not be as ideal.
To ease chronic joint pain, consider these protein-rich foods:
- Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s have been research-proven to reduce inflammation, so including omega-3-rich fish in your diet may lead to less inflammation-related joint pain over time.