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  • Erin Dietz, L.Ac.

Arthritis Awareness Month



May is Arthritis Awareness Month. Let’s take some time to spotlight this widespread condition and look at how a holistic and natural approach can help manage its painful symptoms.

One in four adults in the United States are affected by arthritis. That’s 54 million people whose ability to work, move, and live a free and happy life may be limited by pain due to arthritis.

Arthritis can be one of the most life-altering and unpleasant common pain conditions. Caused by a swelling of the joints, it can range from bothersome to extremely painful and can be a hindrance to everyday activities. Arthritis is also associated with other chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.


Thankfully there are a multitude of ways to manage arthritis.

Gentle Exercise

Movement can help reduce arthritic swelling and pain, and is a sure-fire mood-booster that can also help manage those conditions that are common in conjunction with arthritis. Exercise should be low-impact to reduce the risk of injury. Some of the best low-impact exercise activities to help manage arthritis are walking, tai chi and qigong, gentle yoga, swimming and other water exercise, and biking.


Stress Management

Stress has a big impact on the body’s ability to heal itself, especially when it comes to inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. The pain of arthritis can also contribute to stress, creating a vicious cycle.

Making sure you are taking care of your mental and emotional health by making self-care time, getting exercise and outdoor time, and having a mindfulness routine can all help manage daily stress.

Eat for Joint Health

While there’s no diet that will completely solve or cure arthritis, there are so many ways to design food habits around inflammatory nutrition to help lessen painful symptoms.

Begin by limiting processed foods and saturated fats, as well as common foods that can stoke inflammation, like gluten, processed carbohydrates (like white bread), sugar, anything with high tannin like red wine and red fruits, and fried food.

Add fish, olive oil, nuts and beans, and fresh herbs like turmeric and ginger to your diet.

Following “The Mediterranean Diet” (a diet full of vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and light on sugar, red meat, and processed food) to any degree not only helps reduce inflammation and ease arthritis, but it’s an overall health booster! The Mediterranean Diet and any plant-based diet has been proven to lower blood pressure, assist weight loss Lower blood pressure, and protect against serious conditions like cancer and heart disease.

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