Our bones and joints play a crucial role in our overall wellbeing, providing structure, strength, and mobility to our body. However, as we age or when we subject our bodies to excessive strain, our joint health can become compromised leading to aching or painful joints as well as painful muscles and ligaments. In this article, we will explore some effective natural solutions to keep your bones and joints healthy, along with the essential nutrients you need to support your natural joint health.
Maintaining Healthy Bones & Joints Naturally
Protecting your bone and joint health may be easier than you think. Your bones are continuously changing as old bone is broken down and new bone is made. When we are young, this process is very efficient and continues in this way until approximately age 30. After 30, this process still continues but the rate of old bone breakdown is slightly higher than new bone production meaning that bone mass starts to decrease.
Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become weak and brittle as they lose mass (density). The odds of developing this condition is highly dependent on your bone mass before the age of 30, the higher your bone mass the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis. However, the decrease in bone mass from 30 onwards is so slight year on year that it may take decades for symptoms to show, if ever. Meanwhile you can continue to take care of your bone health as a preventative, through diet, exercise and supplements if necessary.
Exercise For Joint Health
Engaging in regular low impact exercises such as yoga, swimming and walking, can help keep your joints flexible, your bones healthy and can also strengthen the surrounding muscles. Regular physical activity promotes joint lubrication and reduces the risk of joint stiffness, pain and inflammation.
Weight bearing exercise and resistance exercise are great for improving bone density and helping prevent osteoporosis. Weight bearing exercise doesn’t mean lifting weights, although you can do this if you wish.
General aerobics, running and walking are all considered weight bearing exercises. There is no need to run a marathon, even regular moderate gentle exercise can ease joint pain and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Healthy Bone & Joint Diet
Consuming a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients is vital for maintaining healthy bones and joints. Incorporate calcium-rich foods like dairy products, leafy greens, nuts, soya and tofu to promote strong bones and flexible joints. Vitamin D, commonly found in fatty fish, eggs and exposure to sunlight, helps your body to efficiently absorb calcium thus benefiting your bones and joints. Additionally, the omega 3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, flaxseeds and walnuts have anti inflammatory properties that can reduce joint pain. If you think you are lacking in omega 3 you can add consider taking our Omega 3, 6 & 9 supplement or, if you are vegan or vegetarian you can take our Vegan Omega 3 EPA & DHA softgels.
Hydration For Joint Health
Staying hydrated is essential for bone and joint health. Proper fluid levels are necessary to keep the machine oiled – literally. Dehydration can cause joint pain because of the lubricating effect water has on your joints. An estimated 70% of joint cartilage and synovial fluid is made up of water. Synovial fluid is the gel-like lubricating fluid that lies between your joints, each and every joint in your body. Synovial fluid creates a cushion that allows easy joint movement while preventing your bones from coming into contact with each other.
When you are adequately hydrated, this synovial fluid provides shock absorption, cushioning, lubrication and even nutrition to your joints. The fluid is held in place around your joints by thick flexible walls, which also need proper hydration to stay flexible and intact. When you are dehydrated, this means less lubrication, less flexibility, less cushioning, more inflammation and more pain in your joints.
To help maintain a good level of hydration, opt for plain water (without additives) or herbal teas and avoid soft drinks, energy drinks, sugary drinks, excessive caffeine and alcohol.
Weight Management And Joint Health
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for reducing stress on your joints, especially the weight bearing ones such as ankles, knees and hips. Excess weight can accelerate joint deterioration and also increase your risk of painful joints and bone or joint conditions such as osteoarthritis. Engage in regular exercise and eat a well balanced diet to help maintain a healthy weight.
Natural Remedies For Joint Pain
Joint pain and stiffness can be challenging in every day life. While conventional treatment work to control pain, reduce inflammation and slow the progression of disease, there are many natural therapies that can play a role in alleviating symptoms;
Diet: Often underestimated in pain management and mobility, is the role of diet. Without the nutrients necessary for optimal health, its not surprising that things go wrong. As well as maintaining overall health, many foods have natural anti inflammatory and analgesic properties and should be included in your joint pain management diet. These foods include ginger, garlic, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, leafy green vegetables, blueberries, cherries, oranges, avocados, pomegranates, oily fish, eggs and high fibre foods.
Exercise: Regular non impact exercise helps keep your joints mobile and reduce inflammation. Such exercise includes swimming, walking, yoga, pilates, stretching, muscle toning and similar.
Heat & Cold: Heat increases blood flow to painful joints, relaxes tight muscles and helps eliminate waste products from the affected area. Cold decreases swelling and slows the transmission of pain signals to the area. For chronic inflammation conditions a combination of heat and cold as needed is often the best course.
Acupuncture: This therapy has proven its worth over the last decade and is often very effective in treating and solving many inflammatory symptoms and conditions. Coupled with Chinese herbal therapy, acupuncture for joint and bone health is well worth exploring.
Essential Oils: Many essential oils have natural anti inflammatory properties with Peppermint Oil being one of the more effective. Other beneficial essential oils include Frankincense Oil and Ginger Oil.
Anti Inflammatory Oil Rub
Jojoba Oil is naturally anti inflammatory so makes an ideal blending oil for anti inflammatory massage rubs. Mix all oils well, ensuring that you do not get any in your eyes, see Essential Oil Safety Must Knows.
Osteoarthritis (wear & tear pain) Oil Rub
- 20 ml Jojoba Oil or Coconut Oil (4 teaspoons)
- 5 drops Eucalyptus Oil
- 3 drops Rosemary Oil
- 2 drops Juniper Oil
Jojoba Oil is naturally anti inflammatory while Coconut oil promotes blood circulation to the affected area to help relieve pain. Mix all oils well, ensuring that you do not get any in your eyes, see Essential Oil Safety Must Knows.
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