Inflammation in the places where your bones meet can make it uncomfortable to do just about anything – even simple daily tasks such as grocery shopping or doing the laundry. Unfortunately, joint pain is incredibly common: 2016 stats from the CDC show that 53 million Americans – nearly a quarter of adults (23%) – have been diagnosed with arthritis.Many people who have arthritis and other joint pain conditions are unaware of easy steps they can take to curb their symptoms. Let’s look at 4 specific foods that can cause joint pain and you should avoid, and 4 other ways you can self-manage your pain.

 4 foods that can cause joint pain

  1. Casein and gluten are proteins that contribute to inflammation. Casein is present in whey products, while gluten exists in barley, rye, and wheat.
  2. Sorry, but alcohol causes joint pain as well – except specific types, in small volumes (1 glass of red wine, or 1 pint of stout). Overuse weakens your liver and causes multi-organ dysfunction, as noted by the Arthritis Foundation.
  3. Tomatoes are problematic, which is tough news for Italian food lovers. Consider the impact on one type of arthritis – gout. “Researchers… analyzed data from 12,720 people who did not have gout and found that eating tomatoes increased the levels of uric acid found in their blood,” said Kasandra Brabaw in Prevention. “High uric acid is the major underlying cause of gout.”
  4. Time to reconsider the oils you’re using. Cottonseed, soybean, safflower, sunflower, and corn oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-3 fatty acids (high in salmon, sardines, and flaxseeds) are anti-inflammatory, omega-6 fatty acids are inflammatory. Increase the former and decrease the latter. 

4 quick joint pain self-management steps

Here is arthritis inflammation-reduction advice, given by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that is generally applicable to chronic pain conditions:

  1. Join an educational program – Learn about self-management via an instructional program, such as the CDC’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP).
  2. Get regular exercise – Swim, walk or bicycle, for 30 minutes, 5 days per week.
  3. Control your weight – Keep yourself fit to minimize strain on your knees and other joints.
  4. Speak with a physician – “People with inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis, have a better quality of life if they are diagnosed early, receive treatment, and learn how to manage their condition,” advised the CDC.

Help treating your joint pain

Are you suffering from osteoarthritis or another condition that is making your joints hurt? At Health Star Clinic, you’ll receive a comprehensive diagnosis and custom treatments that go beyond the band-aid approach of prescription medication and a follow-up visit. Treat the source of your pain.