Arthritis now affects 1 in 4 people and is a growing epidemic in the UK.


Inflammation is at the route of all forms of arthritis; rheumatoid or osteoarthritis amongst others. With osteoarthritis it is the larger weight bearing joints that are affected such as the hips and knees resulting from
wear and tear as we age. It has symptoms of early morning stiffness, soft tissue swelling, stiffness after periods of rest and pain that is worse with joint use. Cartilage starts to wear down and bone spurs start to form in the joint margins as the bone tries to mend itself, this leads to pain and limited motion when bone then rubs on bone.

With rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system has started to attack the tissue in joints. This usually starts in the small joints such as the fingers or toes and can occur at any age. Inflammation occurs and so symptoms include joint stiffness, pain, along with low-grade fever and can be worse in the mornings but better as the day progresses.

Conventional approach

Traditionally the approach is the use medications to block the inflammatory process. These can be successful in doing so but they don’t get to the root cause of why the disease started in the first place. Other medications used also include; steroid injections, joint replacement surgery, DMARDs (disease modifying drugs) that slow down the immune process.

Things you can do:

  1. Movement regular movement within your ability is vital to maintain function. Some low impact movement that you can do includes; walking, yoga, tai chi, water aerobics, Pilates.
  2. De-stress stress is inflammatory and underlies virtually every health condition. Especially with RA, stress can trigger flares and cause an increase in the severity and duration of symptoms. Best ways to help manage stress include; deep breathing, yoga, meditation, salt baths, being in nature, gentle exercise, talking to a trusted friend.
  3. Eliminate inflammatory foods – foods can contribute to the pain of inflammation, especially with RA. Take them out of your diet for a month and see if it makes a difference to your symptoms; coffee, smoking, sugar, citrus, gluten, soy, dairy, vegetable oils.
  4. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods – these are foods high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids including oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, anchovies and herring and nuts such as walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds and eggs enriched with omega 3. Herbs such as turmeric and ginger root also have significant anti-inflammatory properties. You can use them in cooking, smoothies and as teas.

What can Functional Medicine do to support?

  • Use functional testing to understand where inflammation stems from, what could be triggering the arthritis and what foods you may be sensitive to.
  • Provide dietary plans and recommend supplements that include nutrients that help to repair cartilage.
  • Use food and supplements to reduce inflammation and help the body to self-manage its inflammatory response.
  • Identify foods that could be causing symptoms and provide dietary advice on what to eat and what
    not to eat.

5 Pillars of Functional Medicine

Managing Stress

Arthritis and Functional Medicine

Do you suffer from arthritis and have tried all the usual approaches?

Functional Medicine can help you, simply book an online consultation or arrange a free 15 minute discovery call and find out how we can help.