Coffee is one of the most popular drinks that many people consume daily. When it comes to arthritis, there is often discussion about whether it is good or bad for your condition. Our team at Free Body Physical Therapy would like to discuss some of the health implications of coffee, how it can affect arthritis, and how our team can help manage your arthritis symptoms. Continue reading to learn more.
Benefits of Coffee for Arthritis?
If you are living with arthritis, you may wonder if drinking coffee could worsen your condition. Coffee is a widely enjoyed, low-calorie beverage that can provide caffeine, antioxidants, potassium, and other nutrients. Research regarding the relationship between coffee and arthritis symptoms does not provide a clear picture since several factors play a role in how coffee can affect your joint health. When consumed in moderation, coffee can have numerous benefits for your health, including:
- Improved Metabolism
- Decreased Fatigue
- Improved Cognition
- Increased Alertness
The various antioxidants in coffee can help protect your body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals, which increase damage and inflammation in the body. This beverage also has anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is the primary symptom associated with arthritis, so reduced inflammation in your body is better for your health. Caffeine can also work as a pain reliever. While the exact mechanism is not known, it is thought that caffeine may block certain pain signals from reaching the brain.
Does Coffee Aggravate Arthritis Symptoms?
While there are benefits to drinking coffee, it could potentially aggravate arthritis symptoms. Factors like the type of arthritis, amount of coffee, and caffeine content all play a role in how it affects your joints. For some forms of arthritis, coffee can potentially increase your risk of developing the disease. However, it can be protective against other forms of arthritis. Here are some of the ways that coffee can affect your arthritis:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – Since coffee has several anti-inflammatory properties, it could potentially benefit those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Reducing inflammation can help ease joint pain, and caffeine’s stimulatory effects can help combat mental and physical fatigue common with this condition.
- Osteoarthritis – Excess caffeine intake can negatively affect the growth of bone and cartilage, which can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
- Gout – Coffee can help reduce uric acid in the body. Gout flares are associated with high serum uric acid levels. Consuming coffee in moderation may help individuals with gout.
In most cases, caffeine intake is not contraindicated when taking medications for arthritis. However, coffee can influence how you feel on those medications. For example, coffee’s stimulatory effects may make the insomnia side effects of prednisone worse but can potentially reduce intolerance to medications like methotrexate. If you live with arthritis, you may want to consider limiting your coffee intake or avoiding it altogether. While there are some potential benefits to drinking coffee, there are also some potential risks. Talk to your doctor about whether or not drinking coffee is right for you.
How Can Physical Therapy Help Arthritis?
Arthritic joints can interfere with your daily comfort, mobility, and quality of life. While it’s tempting to avoid movement when you’re in pain, arthritic joints will only feel worse if you leave them motionless for too long. Physical therapy at Free Body Physical Therapy is the ideal solution to this problem. Our dedicated staff will teach you strengthening exercises and stretches that help reduce arthritis pain and improve your quality of life. Not only can this help reduce swelling and pain in your joints, but it can also help you maintain your joint health in the future.
If you have arthritis and enjoy coffee, be sure to discuss the risks and benefits of drinking coffee with your doctor. If inflamed, stiff joints interrupt your life, Free Body Physical Therapy is here to help. Be sure to contact us today to learn more about our arthritis treatments and request an appointment!