HEALTH FOCUS: What You Must Know About Joint Pain (Osteoarthritis)
August 12, 2012
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects scores across the globe. The breakdown of cartilage that covers joints causes bones to become exposed; this is followed by bone-to-bone contact that results in severe pain. The joint degeneration also may cause the joint to be become misshapen, which leads to limited range of motion and more pain. While things like age, gender and heredity play a role in developing osteoarthritis, health gurus as noted by healthline.com recommend a number of useful ways that could help stave off developing this painful disease.
Eat Onions and Garlic
A 2010 study out of King’s College London found that daily sulfides, the compounds found in garlic, onions and leeks, known as alliums, actually inhibited the enzymes that cause joints to degenerate. The study looked at more than 500 sets of female twins, and while the study was limited, those that ate the highest amount of these specific alliums had the lowest incidence of osteoarthritis.
Take Non-Citrus Fruits
Fruits such as berries, apples, plums and peaches contain antioxidants that decrease inflammation. Those who eat these types of fruits frequently were found in a recent English study to have less development of osteoarthritis than those who didn’t. Berries especially are major nutritional powerhouses, plus they’re low-calorie and high in fiber. Add some to your morning cereal or start your day with a berry-filled smoothie
Ginger has long been touted as a remedy for many things included morning sickness and nausea, migraines and irritated skin. But recent research from the University of Georgia found that it alleviated muscle pain for up to 24 hours after intense exercise. It also reduced joint inflammation. Enjoy ginger tea, shave some ginger into your favorite stir fry recipe, try a ginger supplement or even try a hot ginger compress on sore joints for an all-natural way to curb osteoarthritis.
Exercise is a key part of both osteoarthritis prevention and symptom alleviation, as it keeps joints healthier.
Low impact options such as swimming, yoga and walking are effective at getting your heart rate up without putting further strain on joints. Strength training is also important as it increases muscle and bone health.
A high body mass index, especially one high enough to be considered obese, is associated with a greater incidence of osteoarthritis, particularly in the hips and knees. There is considerable extra strain on the joints and cartilage that occurs by carrying around a lot of excess pounds. Losing weight will lessen painful symptoms.
Stand Up Straight
Do you slouch at your desk all day looking into a computer screen? You may be setting yourself up for osteoarthritis later on. Good posture alleviates stress on many important joints; so it’s important to maintain the two natural curves of your spine whether sitting or standing. The two natural curves are the concave curves between the base of your head and your shoulders, and the one from your upper back to the base of your spine.
Curb Repetitive Motion
While it’s important to be active, people that do the same motions over and over, whether it is at work or during their favorite sport, are at increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. Ballet dancers and professional athletes are at particular risk, but those working construction jobs are also at risk because they do the same motions over and over. This can also occur with activities such as golf and tennis, so make sure you change up your routine and vary your movements as much as you can, and always practice proper form.
Relax and Meditate
Stress in general is bad for your body. It can lead to lack of sleep, then in turn depression, all of which takes a toll on your body.
Relaxation techniques such as meditation can help reduce levels of stress and in turn help your overall health.