A joint is the connection between two bones. Joints and their surrounding structures allow you to bend your elbows and knees, wiggle your hips, bend your back, turn your head, and wave your fingers to say bye-bye. Smooth tissue called cartilage and a lubricant called synovial fluid cushion the joints so bones do not rub together. But increasing age, injury, or carrying too much weight can wear and tear your cartilage. This can lead to a reaction that can damage your joints and lead to arthritis which is an inflammation of the tissue in the joints.
It’s the golden rule of joint health: The more you move, the less stiffness you’ll have. Whether you’re reading, working, or watching TV, change positions often. Take breaks from your desk or your chair and get active.
Your size affects some of the strain on your hips, knees, and back. Even a little weight loss can help. Every kilo you lose takes 5 kilo’s of pressure off the knees. So imagine if you lose 20 kg then you are taking 100 kgs of pressure off your knees.
Exercise can help you lose extra kilo’s and maintain a healthy weight. Some research suggests that aerobic exercise – activities that get your heart rate up can reduce joint swelling. If your joints bother you, opt for exercises that won’t give your joints a pounding. Instead of step aerobics, try low-impact exercises such as swimming or bicycling.
Eating a healthy diet is good for your joints, because it helps build strong bones and muscles.
For your bones, make sure you get enough calcium every day. You can do this by eating foods such as milk, yogurt, broccoli, kale, figs, and fortified foods like soy or almond milk.
Did you know that 1 teaspoon of tahini (Sesame seeds) will give you the base level of calcium your body needs daily.
For your muscles, you need to get enough protein. Exactly how much you need depends on your age, sex, and how active you are. Good sources include lean meats, seafood, beans, legumes, soy products, and nuts.
You also need vitamin D to keep your bones and joints in good health. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium from the foods you eat. Dairy products. many cereals, soy milk, and almond milk are fortified with vitamin D. 30 minute of morning or afternoon sun will also significantly help support your vitamin D levels.
Oranges may also give your joints a healthy boost. Some studies suggest that Vitamin C and other antioxidants can help keep your joints healthy.
Glucosamine is natural component of cartilage, a substance that prevents bones from rubbing against each other and causing pain and inflammation. It might also help prevent the cartilage breakdown that can happen with arthritis.
Turmeric is one of the most popular supplements for treating pain, including joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. Its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects are attributed to a chemical compound in turmeric called Curcumin.
Fish Oils also help reduce inflammation in joints and other areas of the body. Fish Oils contain the anti-inflammatory omega 3 oils which reduce joint pain but also reduce inflamation in the cells membranes plus improves cognition. Taking a high dose quality fish oil can have significant benefits across many areas of your health.
Reducing muscle tightness and stiffness through stretching or massages can also help take pressure off the joints.
If you are suffering from joint pain and arthritis why not make an appointment today with our Award Winning Naturopath Tony who can help you get rid of your pain and discomfort. You can book online here or by calling the clinic on 3823 3103.
Click here for more information about how our Naturopath can help you with joint care.