Millions of people suffer from some kind of joint pain or stiffness, especially as they age. Dr. Oz talks to Dr. Jason Theodosakis, author of The Arthritis Cure, about the possibility of nonsurgical relief from osteoarthritis.
Dr. Theo, as he's known, says that what most people call arthritis is really a collection of nearly 100 different diseases. Most of the time people are talking about osteoarthritis, he says, which is a disease of the joints that causes loss of cartilage on the ends of bones over time. It also affects other structures around the joint, including the bone, tendons, ligaments and muscles. Dr. Theo says his program, as outlined in his book, slows down the loss of cartilage and helps with the healing and growth of new cartilage.
Dr. Theo says the keys to his arthritis therapy are two nutritional supplements: glucosamine and chondroitin. He says that the combination of the two is more beneficial to patients than either one alone—they not only stimulate the cartilage, but they also slow cartilage loss and treat pain. However, Dr. Theo says the first and most important step in treating arthritis is getting diagnosed with osteoarthritis rather than self-treating your symptoms.
Dr. Theo offers further advice for combating arthritis pain:
Watch your weight. The more weight you're carrying, the more force you'll put on your joints. There is also a metabolic factor in overweight people that causes destruction of cartilage in nonweight bearing joints.
Eat well. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps decrease inflammation.
Treat depression. Pain and depression create a vicious cycle—the more pain, the more depression.
Exercise. Movements that strengthen the structures around the joint without impact are best. Dr. Theo says you should try doing modified lunges—keeping the front foot in place while moving up and down—and the stationary recumbent bicycle.