Maintaining, Preventing, Improving - Joint Health and Arthritis

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Joint health tends to be overlooked unless or until we are already experiencing pain and/or movement restriction. Therefore, prevention is easier than trying to chase the cause or the pain. Weight bearing joints, like knees or hips, through every day wear and tear are often the first to show signs of arthritic pain.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and the joints that are weight bearing are the most common ones effected including the knees, hips and spinal joints. Approximately 3 million Australians had this disease in 2004, with the prediction for this number to double by 2020. The risk of developing osteoarthritis increases with age as well as gender with women 10 times more likely to develop the disease. 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Stiffness for up to 30 minutes after waking
  • Loss of mobility
  • Too much activity causing pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Cracking or grating sound from the joint during movement
  • Tenderness over the joint
  • Deformity

Now is the time to start taking steps to help prevent or manage osteoarthritis and improve overall joint health, even if you have no symptoms. Ways to do this including Naturopathy, Nutrition, Supplements and Lifestyle Changes.

How can Naturopathy help:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce pain
  • Improve macro and microcirculation
  • Improve health and function of connective tissues
  • Manage possible contributing factors

Ø  Obesity

Ø  Stress

Ø  Activity Levels

Ø  Muscle Strength and Joint Alignment

Nutrition

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A diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, increasing the amount of fish and poultry and reducing red meats and dairy is recommended. This type of diet is often referred to as a Mediterranean Diet and is beneficial due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nature of the foods ingested.

Not all recommended daily doses of vitamins and minerals are available in our modern diet, so supplementation may be required. Supplements that can help include:

  • B Vitamins
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Vitamins A, C, D, E, and K
  • SAM-e
  • Calcium

Herbs can also be beneficial in helping reduce joint pain, inflammation and increasing circulation to the joints. They can help to relieve the pain and reduce the effects of stress as well as nourish the nervous system where applicable. Herbs that can help include:

  • Boswellia
  • Turmeric
  • Willow Bark
  • Californian Poppy
  • Jamaican Dogwood
  • Corydalis
  • Grape Seed
  • Garlic
  • Bilberry
  • Gotu Kola
  • Ginkgo
  • Green Tea

NB// Herbs need to be used correctly to gain full advantage of the health benefits. Everyone is different so not every herb will work for everyone.

Life style changes can also be beneficial as well. These include appropriate footwear, maintaining a healthy body weight, massage and exercise. 

For more information regarding this, feel free to send a message or book an appointment today. 

It is important to note that some herbs and supplements can interfere with medication or exacerbate other medical conditions. Please consult your natural practitioner for the right product for you as well as consulting a professional before making any dietary or starting on a new exercise program.