The Basics of Arthritis and How You Can Benefit!

November 4, 2015 11:58 am Published by Leave your thoughts

First off, there are 3 stages of the progression stages of osteoarthritis.

-Stage 1 is the proteolytic breakdown of the cartilage.

-Stage 2 is abnormal cartilage repair and remodeling and the release of breakdown products

-Stage 3 is that those breakdown products in stage 2 induce chronic inflammation.


Typical signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  1. morning stiffness with a duration of less than 30 minutes
  2. pain on motion- worse with increasing joint usage
  3. a reduced range of motion of joint
  4. minimal effusion is possible around joint
  5. uncommon before the age of 40
  6. bony enlargement at affected joint
  7. cracking or crepitus on motion
  8. joint deformity may occur


Treatment for osteoarthritis:

-usually acetaminophen (Tylenol), low dose NSAIDs (Ibuprofen), topical NSAIDS, Tramadol, and intra-articular injections of steroids all help with the pain, but don’t solve the problem. If the problem gets bad enough, it can result in joint replacement.


Some natural treatments can include some non-pharmacologic treatment:

-prolotherapy (natural injection into knee that causes immune response and can regenerate cartilage in joint

-weight loss

-non-weight bearing exercise and low impact aerobics

-Tai Chi

-Occupational therapy

-heat and cold



As far as diet goes:

-eat an alkaline diet: decreases bone loss

-eliminate allergens to foods

-eliminate pro-inflammatory foods such as caffeine, sugar, fried foods

-eat therapeutic foods like kale, artichokes, celery, okra, collards, millet, sesame seeds, fish



  1. Vitamin C 1000mg/daily minimum: protective effect on experimentally induced cartilage degeneration in knee and decreases severity of joint damage
  2. Vitamin D (get levels checked by blood, most people are deficient) 2000IU for a maintenance dose) will slow down the breakdown of cartilage and may slow the progression of osteoarthritis
  3. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): 3000mg/daily: improves joint function and motion, increased joint mobility, decreased pain. Be sure to have your doctor monitor you due to possible liver toxicity.
  4. Glucosamine sulfate 500mg 3x/day: comparable to ibuprofen in pain relief, decreased joint space narrowing, improved WOMAC scores, and has a modest anti-inflammatory effect
  5. Chondroitin sulfate 400mg 2x/day: has anti-inflammatory effects, improved function, mobility, and pain scale, but can cause some gastrointestinal upset. It’s usually tolerated well.
  6. Curcumin with soy phosphatidylcholine (Meriva) 200mg/daily: WOMAC scores improved

These are just a few of the recommendations I have for my patients. My personal belief is that eliminating inflammatory foods will help a ton, especially ridding your diet of sugar.


— Dr. Matthew Brennecke, MS, ND is a Board-Certified Naturopathic Doctor practicing at the Rocky Mountain Wellness Clinic in Fort Collins, CO. He prefers using natural therapies to pharmaceutical medication when possible, so as to limit side effects to treatment and sees a variety of patients with a range of chronic conditions. He can be reached at, at, or on Twitter @RockyDocFOCO


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This post was written by Dr. Brennecke

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