Joint issues can become a problem in women as they become older or even in younger women, who are very physically active.
Joint issues can become a problem in women as they become older or even in younger women, who are very physically active. In this blog, we will be covering joint health, as well as nutrients that are important for physical activity.
So let's talk about our joints. Our joints consist of two connecting bones, a layer of cartilage between the joints and then a capsule of fluid around it. Arthritis occurs when there is damage to our cartilage. There are two types of arthritis; Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, where the body's own immune system attacks the cartilage and destroys it. Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition and the most common form of arthritis. It is what we will be focusing on in this blog. It is the inflammation of one or more joints and occurs in the knees, hips, spine, and joints of the hands. What happens is the cartilage that normally acts as a protective buffer between two joints, begins to wear down and then eventually you can have bone on bone rubbing against each other causing pain, swelling, inflammation, reduced mobility, and stiffness.
What causes osteoarthritis?
Ageing is a natural progression of wear and tear
Being overweight puts more pressure on the joints and then causes more pain.
Jobs that involve heavy lifting
Constantly kneeling, squatting, and climbing
A previous injury to the joint, such as a fracture or dislocation
What can you do to ease the symptoms?
Taking certain supplements can help to ease the discomfort:
A natural anti-inflammatory. It has a lot of studies backing it's use in arthritis. It also helps to lubricate the joints.
The active compound found in Turmeric. It has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties and be very beneficial for the pain associated with arthritis.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Both work together to repair cartilage. They can assist in stopping the further breakdown of cartilage. This stops the joints rubbing together and causing further inflammation. Chondroitin is derived from shark cartilage and Glucosamine is derived from shellfish. So avoid taking these products if you have seafood allergies.
Collagen Made from animal sources and is rich in amino acids and it helps to build cartilage. It can even help to reduce joint inflammation and pain.
Lifestyle Factors you can try
Weight loss is essential for those who are overweight. It will take the pressure of the joints: speak to your healthcare practitioner about a healthy weight loss program.
Following a Mediterranean type of diet can help with inflammation; fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, olive oil, fish, lean protein and legumes. Basically eating a whole food diet, with limited sugar and processed foods; as these lead to inflammation.
Acupuncture can be helpful in some individuals who are experiencing symptoms
Seeing a physiotherapist can help with pain management, as they can give you some exercise to help with muscle strengthening.
Supporting with energy and recovery
is important to take after a workout as it can stop the muscles from cramping and spasming. It is an electrolyte, so it is excreted through sweating. We need to ensure we replace the magnesium, to avoid those cramps and spasms
Are needed for the production of energy and are used in the breakdown and metabolism of nutrients. So when eating that wholemeal chicken and salad sandwich, you need B vitamins to break down the carbohydrates and convert it into energy.
Ensuring you get adequate nutrition is essential. You need good quality complex carbohydrates such as; legumes, wholegrains vegetables and fruit to provide fuel for your body. You also need good quality protein such as lean meat, nuts and seeds, eggs, seafood, and good quality protein powders to help repair those microscopic tears that occur as a natural result of weight training. Your body breaks down protein into amino acids. Those amino acids are then used for muscle repair.
Why is exercise so important?
It improves our mood and helps to reduce stress and anxiety. When we exercise it increases serotonin and endorphins; chemicals that make us feel good.
Maintains a healthy weight
Reduces risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers