When the topic of arthritis comes up, we should be aware that it is not one specific thing. It is a general term that is used about over 100 different conditions. The name is used because all of those conditions affect joints and tissues that surround them. Arthritis itself is an inflammatory process that occurs in joints and is not isolated to the elderly, or athletes as it could be related to genetics. The symptoms of arthritis are similar to other inflammatory processes and involve swelling, aching and general pain in your bones.
The most widespread types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus (more information found here). In most cases, the problem with arthritis arises as we age and our joint tissues wear out. Unfortunately, many (if not most) of us will have to deal with this problem at some point in our life, so it stands to reason to be well aware of it and be prepared to deal with it will all means possible.
An osteoporosis diagnosis doesn’t mean the end of an active lifestyle. In fact, exercise, together with proper nutrition, is often recommended as a way to help increase bone mass, therefore, preventing fractures in the future. As Dr. Leslie Morse, assistant professor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and a physiatrist at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, writes in Harvard Women’s Health Watch, “Bone tissue responds to day-to-day signals, and when you stop moving, it gets the signal to start removing bone, so it’s important to stay as active as you can.”
So you know your diagnosis and understand you need exercise and nutrition to help improve your health, but where do you start? Here we break down exercise and nutrition ideas to help you stay active.
An osteoporosis diagnosis in a patient can range from someone who is disabled with severe bone fractures, to an otherwise healthy individual that has a low bone density test score. It is therefore important to first consult your physician on what is correct for your health before implementing a new exercise or nutrition routine.
What Causes Arthritis?
As mentioned before, there are many forms of arthritis; some of them even occur in young people, because of this it is hard to pinpoint on a single cause of it. The reason for arthritis are manifold and include being overweight, lack of physical exercise, genetic factors, injuries and problems with the immune system. This is by no way an exhaustive list, but ones that are more likely to cause the condition. Unfortunately, at this point in time, we have no way of eradicating it. Our only solution is to manage it and reduce the pain and discomfort it can cause in our daily lives.
Here is how arthritis affects you. Joints are what gives you the flexibility to move your shoulder, knees, and fingers. It is what connects different bones in your body and gives you the ability to control them. The healthy joint is lubricated so that it can move without much friction. Your bones are also lined with cartilage, the tissue which allows for the high degree of flexibility. When this cartilage begins to wear off, you get the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis. As the wearing out usually happens with time, this condition most often starts to occur in middle-aged people. One of the best ways to avoid this is keeping in shape and losing weight, thus relieved your joints from pressure.
How To Naturally Treat Pain At Home
As most of the treatment of arthritis focus on managing the pain and reducing the discomfort, home remedies are a safe way to handle this.
As with everything in health, one of the best ways to staying healthy is managing your diet. There are many ingredients that hold anti-inflammatory properties that will help to reduce the pain. For example Mediterranean style diet, that is rich with fish, garlic, vegetables, and olive oil will not only benefit you much in the fight with arthritis but will generally improve your well-being.
Hot & Cold Therapy
Hot and cold therapy is also tried out the way to relieve the pressure. This treatment is simple and consists of first applying iced water to the problematic area for a minute and then applying hot water to the same area for around half a minute. Keep alternating them for approximately ten minutes. This will increase the blood flow to the area and have a quick, positive effect.
Exercising might be the last thing on your mind when suffering from joint pain. But as with the diet, it will significantly improve your general well being. Aerobics is especially useful for your joints. You can start with quick 10-15 minute exercise at your home and slowly move on to more intense ones. If you are lucky to have a pool at your place, it will significantly improve your healing process. Other things that will reduce the pain include massages, breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation.
In addition to exercise, be sure that you are receiving the proper nutrition in order to help manage your arthritis or osteoporosis and help you stay active. Two of the most critical nutrients for those who have osteoporosis are Calcium and Vitamin D. While a one meta-analysis study calls Vitamin D into question, a deeper analysis finds merit.
Calcium helps to build bones and keep them healthy, all while also helping our heart to beat, blood to clot, and our muscles to contract. Vitamin D, meanwhile, helps your body to absorb calcium and supports your muscles to avoid falls. While the best source of these nutrients is food itself, supplements can help if you do not think you are getting adequate nutrition.
Calcium is predominately found in dairy products. Some green vegetables contain small amounts of calcium as well. These days certain foods are fortified with it too (meaning it is not naturally occurring but is added). Items like cereal, juices, bread, soymilk, etc. sometimes have it added.
Meanwhile, the best ways to obtain vitamin D are through fortified food (like milk), supplements, and sunlight. Vitamin D occurs naturally in fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel. It is also added as a supplement to a lot of the same foods as calcium, such as juice, soymilk, cereals, etc.
Vitamin D is also produced by your skin in reaction to the sunlight and stores it in fat. A lot of seniors do not spend enough time outdoors to get the amount of sunlight they need, so try going for a walk, swimming outside, or other doctor recommended exercise. (Always remember to protect your skin with sunscreen, however!)
Calcium is the main mineral but not the main component of your bones; by volume, your bones are about 50% protein. Unsurprisingly, the effect of dietary protein on bone health has been the subject of many randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies.
The consensus is that higher protein intakes can help maintain bone mineral density, or at least slow its decrease, especially in the presence of enough calcium. Luckily, higher protein intakes also enhance calcium absorption in the intestines (as does vitamin D) – Examine.com
In addition to talking to your doctor about a quality bone supplement, be sure to read labels, and consider which ingredients are included. If your diet and supplement don’t include enough of them, consider adding Protein, Vitamin K, and Magnesium.
As described above, protein is the main component of your bones. The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 0.8 g per kilogram of body weight (0.36 g/lb/day). Most studies have observed positive effects by increasing to 1.4 g/kg/day (with a minimum of 90 g/day). Digest protein throughout the day, and target intake levels based on desired weight if you are over a 30 BMI (Body Mass Index).
Vitamin D is important – especially during the darker months of the year. The most stable and bioavailable form of vitamin D is D³. Recommendations for bone supplementation are 2,000 IU (50mcg). It’s most effective when taken with a meal containing fats. When supplementing calcium, it can be helpful to have vitamin D and Vitamin K – both increase (individually and synergistically) the uptake of minerals like calcium and magnesium for your bones.
Vitamin K is contraindicated for people that take anticoagulants such as warfarin or Coumadin. These products are used as a blood thinner, which may be hindered by the blood-clotting assistance in vitamin K.
Calcium is one of those supplements where more isn’t necessarily better. A target of around 500/mg per day should include your dietary sources, and factor your biological gender and age. Excess calcium can also cause constipation (and other problems). Consider adding K or D instead of overloading calcium.
Magnesium deficiency is more pronounced among athletes, as it is lost through sweat. There is a correlation between levels in the blood with greater or lower bone mass in old age. Magnesium can impair the absorption of some medications including antibiotics, and may have a sedative effect – often recommended before bed. Calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc compete for absorption. Do not take high doses in concert. A standard dose of magnesium is 200 mg.
Natural Arthritis Pain Relief Supplements
There are lots of natural supplements that can remedy the pain of arthritis and cut down on inflammation throughout your body. Natural minerals and supplements such as MSM and Glucosamine have proven benefits for those who suffer from arthritis pain. Both of these components assist in building healthy joints and flexibility throughout the bones in your body. Ginger and Turmeric are both very popular in pain relief products due to their natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
You can find all of these ingredients within our unique AgelessJOINTS formula which was created for those looking to improve the health of their joints and bones. Reduce your pain, live a healthier life, and stay active with premium supplements by Ageless Nutrition.