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Understanding Osteoarthritis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Natural Remedies

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Week one of arthritis awareness month! Let’s start with Osteoarthritis (OA) - the most common form arthritis. Otherwise known as the “wear and tear” condition:

At the end of every bone is a layer of cartilage. You’re likely familiar with it: It’s the rubbery piece on the end of a chicken bone. Cartilage is meant to cushion the end of your bones, preventing a bone-on-bone friction. However, as cartilage wears down due to factors such as overuse, old age, excess weight, or structural misalignment, more and more friction occurs in the joint. This friction upsets the connective tissue surrounding the joint…which is where the unpleasant symptoms like pain, stiffness, and swelling arise.

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4 Main Signs and Symptoms That Point to OA Include:

  1. Gradually developing joint pain described as a “deep ache”

  2. Joint pain worsened by weight bearing activities

  3. Stiffness that is worst in the morning or long periods of inactivity and better after light movement

  4. Occasional joint swelling that can lead to deformities

Along with the symptoms above, the easiest way to rule in OA is to get an X-ray showing joint space narrowing.

Once you have been diagnosed with OA, it’s time for treatment. Although this condition is not reversible, symptoms CAN be mitigated with appropriate treatment. It’s best to start as early as possible to prevent further cartilage damage.

Our 3 Favorite Natural Remedies for Osteoarthritis Include:

  1. Physical Therapy Love - Physical therapists are the best place to start for OA. That’s because they will teach you the proper range of motion for your troubled joints! It’s important to keep the joint mobile to prevent adhesions…but certain movements can actually be harmful. That’s why it’s best to get an expert opinion and game plan from the get go!

  2. Natural Anti-inflammatories - NSAIDS like aspirin, naproxen, celecoxib, ibuprofen, and diclofenac are wonderful for bringing down inflammation but tend to carry an array of detrimental side effects including, but not limited to: Kidney failure, liver failure, stomach ulcers, and prolonged bleeding. That’s one of the few reasons why we LOVE herbal anti-inflammatories like turmeric, frankincense, ginger, and devil’s claw. A recent 2020 study revealed that turmeric had the same objective anti-inflammatory effects as Naproxen when taken twice a day for 4 weeks. Pretty. Cool. Since Turmeric also has stomach lining and kidney protective effects. Schedule with our herbalist to get a personalized herbal anti-inflammatory tincture today!


  1. Krill Oil - Another 2020 study revealed that 300mg of krill oil/day objectively reduced inflammation by 30% in 30 days. Krill oil is also known to be beneficial for the cardiovascular system, hair, skin, nails, and preventative for dementia. A pretty good 6-for-1!

For more information on OA and for support from our team, book in today! We’d love to help you get back to living life fully and pain-free.

At IVY Integrative, you can work with one practitioner or build your own team of holistic practitioners! Reach your optimum health in-person or online. Check out our Get Started page to learn how to work with us!

Until next time,

Dr. Chelsea Leander ND, RH (AHG)











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