Beer, Wine and Osteoarthritis: Unravelling the Myth

When osteoarthritis strikes, the affected usually get more frowns than sympathetic looks if they are wine or beer drinkers. There is a general assumption that alcohol is a pivotal contributor to the onset of arthritis. Rather than get empathy or support, the usual response is ‘we told you so,’ and the universal prescription is ‘quit drinking.’

Without seeking to pay judgement with judgment, it is safe to say that this theory is not particularly accurate. Osteoarthritis is about more than just alcohol or age. It can affect anyone.

Osteoarthritis and Alcohol; the Truth

There is indeed an association between alcohol and the incidence of OA. Beer has an aggravating effect on osteoarthritis of the hip and knee joints, while wine is also associated with knee conditions. That is not, however, to say that these are the key contributors to these conditions arising.

Instead, they are just factors that have a little effect which, combined with other circumstances, can lead to or aggravate osteoarthritis. Even then, these drinks only make this contribution when consumed in large quantities for a long time. In which case, people should be more concerned about treating the victim’s addiction before thinking about osteoarthritis.

Moderate Consumption

It is thus safe to say that alcohol, when moderately consumed, does not affect one’s chances of getting osteoarthritis. Not that moderation and alcohol fit very smugly in the same sentence. Still, it is something that, with effort, anyone can learn.

Meanwhile, if osteoarthritis comes your way, it is better to learn how to live with it than to get miserable because of people’s judgment. The earlier you do this, the better. Rather than retreat in a shell, you should think of the following.

Using Support Equipment

Pads for your affected joints will aid movement and ease the pain.

Seeking Expert Advice

A good doctor will help you get through the onset phase with ease. They will give prescriptions if necessary and advise on how much you should push or limit yourself.


Do not shun physical activity when joint pain kicks in. Rather, you need to exercise regularly, albeit with less vigour. Learn when to stop and follow your doctor’s advice on intensity. Regular exercise will make your joints get used to moving so that the stiffness is less when doing daily tasks.

Dress Appropriately

When joint diseases creep up on you, it is important to accept that more caution is needed when dressing. Any tight clothing needs to be forgotten; you need better blood circulation than ever before. Dressing warmly during cold weather is also very important. A lot of stiffness and pain is caused by getting cold. Finally, you will need to insist on comfort and traction when shopping for shoes going forward.

With these adjustments, you can still enjoy a tipple every once in a while without significant detriment.

Beer, Wine and Osteoarthritis: Unravelling the Myth
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