Join Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Robert Watkins as they answer your Facebook questions about arthritis. Nearly 40 million people in the United States alone are affected by arthritis and back pain, and what surprises so many is that more than half of those with arthritis are under 65 years of age. Nearly 60% of Americans with arthritis are women, and over a quarter of a million victims are children. The most common type of this disease is osteoarthritis and the second most common type is rheumatoid arthritis.
For osteoarthritis, the over-the-counter food supplements glucosamine and chondroitin have been helpful for some, though their benefits are still controversial according to national research studies. These supplements are available in pharmacies and health-food stores without a prescription.
Another type of dietary supplementation are fish oils which have been shown to have some anti-inflammation properties. Moreover, increasing the dietary fish intake and/or fish oil capsules (omega-3 capsules) can sometimes reduce the inflammation of arthritis. Weight reduction is recommended for patients who are overweight and have early signs of osteoarthritis of the hands, because they are at a risk for also developing osteoarthritis of their knees. Of note, even modest weight reduction can be helpful. Obesity has long been known to be a risk factor for osteoarthritis of the knee.