Arthritis is one of the most common long-term medical conditions in the UK, with more than 10 million people being affected. If early symptoms strike, making changes to your diet and lifestyle are key including taking the right kind of supplement.
If you have arthritis, your joints will most likely feel stiff and be hard to move, you may also find that the area around your joints may feel warm, look red or puffy.
Finding out what’s causing your pain is key to finding the right treatment and self-help options, says Versus Arthritis charity.
As well as causing pain and stiffness, inflammation can cause permanent damage to a joint, so starting effective treatment early on can help to minimise damage.
The Arthritis Foundations (AF) suggests that fish oil, which contains polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, “have potent anti-inflammatory properties”.
It notes that a 2017 systematic review of studies found that omega-3 supplements “reduced joint pain, stiffness and swelling” for those with rheumatoid arthritis.
In the UK, rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 400,000 people.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system targets affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling.
A note of caution, however, as high-doses of fish oil supplements can thin the blood such as warfarin.
AF says that several vitamins have been studied for their effects on arthritis, but so far there’s no evidence that taking antioxidant vitamins improves arthritis symptoms, “although eating a diet rich in these nutrients is healthy overall”.
It adds: “Fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K can build up in your body to the point where they become harmful, so check with your doctor about safe amounts.”
Early symptoms warning of your risk include:
- Pain in a joint
- Joint swelling and tenderness
- Joint stiffness, especially in the morning
- Grating sound or sensation
- Pain in a joint that was previously injured
- Groin pain
- Symmetrical joint pain
- Pain or stiffness in your hands and feet.