Arthritis treatment: The surprising Christmas treat that could ease your joint pain

Arthritis: Doctor gives advice on best foods to help ease pain

Affecting around 10 million people in the UK, arthritis can cause swollen, stuff and painful joints. However, there are various things you can do to ease any feelings of discomfort.

When you’re treating yourself over the holidays, add a gingerbread man onto your wish list.

Versus Arthritis confirmed that ginger, in theory, could “reduce the activity of several chemical substances that promote joint inflammation”.

The charity cites three clinical trials which have noted the the beneficial effects ginger can in reducing pain and disability.

Moreover, the experiments have regarded ginger as being a safe treatment for osteoarthritis.

Trial one

There were 67 participants who had osteoarthritis involved in this clinical trial.

Each participant – who either had osteoarthritis in the hip or knee – were randomly assigned one of three treatment options:

  • 170 mg capsules of ginger extract
  • 400 mg ibuprofen tablets
  • A placebo

The results

The results noted that ginger consumption lead to a “significant reduction in pain scores” compared to the placebo.

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Trial two

This trial included 29 people with knee osteoarthritis. In the first half of the study, participants were either give 250mg of ginger or placebo capsules.

In the first three months, participants were either given ginger or placebo capsule four times a day (phase A).

The groups then swapped treatments for the following three months (known as phase B of the study).

The results

By the end of phase A, participants who were treated with ginger had “a significant reduction in pain and disease-related disability” compared to placebo.

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Interestingly, “no significant difference between treatment groups was observed at the end of phase B”.

This suggest ginger can have long-term benefits on the reduction of arthritis pain.

Trial three

In the third trial, 247 participants with knee osteoarthritis were either given 255mg of ginger or placebo capsules twice a day for six months.

The results

Those who were treated with ginger had “significant reduction in knee pain” compared to the placebo group.

In the ginger consumption group, the severity of pain had reduced, as did “osteoarthritis-related symptoms”.

It must be noted that the ibuprofen group in trial one was “more effective than ginger”.

However, if you’re already taking pain medication to manage symptoms of arthritis, a gingerbread man is going to a helpful snack.

Versus Arthritis added that ginger reduces the production of leukotrienes in the body, which otherwise promote inflammation.

In addition, ginger also contains salicylates, which is transformed by the body into salicylic acid.

Salicylic acid is said to “prevent nerves from making certain prostaglandins”, which “eases pain and discomfort”.

Although it may seem counter intuitive, exercise is highly recommended to “improve symptoms of arthritis”.

The charity recommends doing up to 10 minutes of exercise each day can help to keep your joints moving and can strengthen your muscles.

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