This time last year I was in a wheelchair after breaking my foot in 5 places and forcing the heel bone 1.5cm up into the joint and destroyed all the muscles, ligaments and tendons in my foot – OUCH! I decided against surgery to pull it back down and pin it back together, preferring instead to take the a-la-natural path of recovery.
ARE YOU CRAZY YOU ASK? Maybe / Maybe Not…each to their own – but in my case, being asthmatic and having the flu at the time, going under general anaesthetic was not high on my list of things to do at that time.
Twelve months down the track the bones have healed perfectly, the soft tissues are getting there but not 100% yet, and the heel bone is still displaced, but isn’t giving me any major drama. HOWEVER, the doctor has warned me that I am very likely going to experience arthritis in the coming years, and he can still operate at a later time if I wish. In the meantime I need to look after my joints, and this is what has prompted this article today.
Healthy bones and joints are essential to a healthy body not only when you are older, but as you grow. Neglecting your bones and joints can quickly lead to a number of health issues that will make life harder and less enjoyable. Joint health is something we ALL need to be paying more attention to, so I wanted to share with you 8 simple ways you can look after your joints.
- Manage Your Weight: If you’re overweight, adopting a healthy diet and regular exercise may help you manage your weight and take some of the stress off your joint.
- Get/Stay Active: The more active you are now, the happier your joints are likely to be in the future – but choose low-impact forms of exercise (like swimming or cycling), and try to incorporate aerobic, strengthening and flexibility-building exercises into your routine
- Yoga: Yoga may benefit osteoarthritis by reducing pain, stiffness and swelling. Be sure to tell your instructor about your joint health issues so they can tailor the postures to your capability
- Regular Massage: The muscles around your joints play an important role in their stability and function, and regular massage may help relieve osteoarthritis symptoms such as joint pain.
- Curcumin: Curcumin is a naturally occurring substance found in turmeric that has anti-inflammatory properties, and may help to relieve joint pain, stiffness and inflammation. Curcumin teams well with ginger, and the herb Boswellia, which also have anti-inflammatory effects and have traditionally been used to relieve joint and rheumatic pain in Ayurvedic medicine
- Eat Plenty of Fish: Try to eat plenty of oily fish (like salmon, sardines or mackerel) for their anti-inflammatory benefits; alternatively, consider taking an omega-3 supplement
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Glucosamine and chondroitin provide building blocks for healthy joint cartilage formation. They also help to relieve mild osteoarthritis symptoms and improve joint mobility
- Collagen Supplement: Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, which is the rubber-like tissue that protects your joints. As the amount of collagen in your body decreases as you get older, your risk of developing degenerative joint disorders such as osteoarthritis increases. Some studies have shown that taking collagen supplements may help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and reduce joint pain overall. In one study, 73 athletes who consumed 10 grams of collagen daily for 24 weeks experienced a significant decrease in joint pain while walking and at rest, compared with a group that did not take it.
The Bottom Line!
Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints that can lead to stiffness and make it painful to walk or move. It generally affects people aged 41 and older, but some of the nearly 3 million U.S. cases a year suffer from it at a younger age. So as you can see, keeping your bones and joints healthy is essential if you want to be feeling good in your older years.
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Until next time