The AgingCare.com forum is filled with people coming together to share valuable information. We’ve compiled experienced caregivers’ best suggestions for using diet and physical activity to alleviate joint pain and stiffness and reduce inflammation.

Nutrition and Exercise Tips for Arthritis Relief

“One thing I learned about arthritis was that treating the inflammation properly decreases the need for narcotic pain meds, sometimes drastically. Inflammation can be reduced through smart dietary choices and with far less adverse effects than pills. Not everyone is willing to make dietary changes, though.” –chimonger

“Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps the whole body, including helping joints stay well lubricated and operating smoothly.” –Dontask4handout

“A change in diet can alleviate some arthritis pain. Try to stop eating everything from the nightshade family. This includes white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. Avoiding alcohol and gluten and limiting sugar intake can help considerably as well.” –PCVS

“My mom’s GP recommended physical therapy. She spent a week in senior rehabilitation. They gave her exercises and helped work out the pain in her shoulder. At home, she continues these exercises and the severe pain has not returned. She says the exercises keep her ‘loose.’ ” –toadballet1

“If the hips are not working right, knees can suffer. Often, the lateral leg muscles that control one’s ability to swing the leg away from midline get weak with age and disuse. When that happens, knees start to bow in, causing seniors to become more knock-kneed. This can cause increased pain in both hips and knees. Exercise those lateral muscles. It helps strengthen the leg muscles, and helps the buttock muscles and lower-back muscles to support both hips and knees.” –chimonger

“I would suggest gentle heat and gentle range of motion exercises. If done carefully, a little movement can go a long way in offering some pain relief. If you can access and safely get into a warm-water therapeutic pool to do some gentle movements, this might help as well.” –OwenWong

“Look to see if your loved one qualifies for some home health care and/or home-based therapy. They can send an occupational therapist (OT) or physical therapist (PT) to the home to help them meet very specific needs and develop an exercise and stretching program for improving range of motion and minimizing pain. Call your primary care physician and ask them to write an order for this need specifically.” –ConnectSL

“The concept of food triggers may sound odd, but they are very real for me and a couple people I know. Dairy is my big trigger. It inflames my finger joints and knees. But there are also foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. Various nuts, fruits and vegetables can help. I avoid my triggers, eat a lot of the good foods and take glucosamine/MSM/chondroitin. Doing these three things has kept me off NSAIDs and other arthritis meds, while still being able to do normal daily activities.” –Linda22

“If they are able, convince your loved one to walk as much as possible, even though that seems counter-intuitive. Activity is good for arthritis, so if they are sitting a lot, their pain will worsen from stiffness and disuse.” –blannie