Arthritis – top ways to help yourself

12 December, 2018

Arthritis is an extremely common, uncomfortable and painful disease. It affects many of us particularly as the winter season progresses. We wanted to share with you some helpful tips on how to improve your symptoms and make life easier and less painful for you.

Why do we get Arthritis?

There are a number of causes:

  • Injury – we can hurt ourselves during exercise/general life. The subsequent damage to cartilage can lead to arthritis. Cartilage is the protective material between our bones and joints. When cartilage is damaged the bones rub together causing pain.
  • Wear and Tear comes from just living your life. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear and typically shows itself later in life.
    • This condition is more chronic in its nature. As with any condition the symptoms are variable. Sufferers can feel anything from slight stiffness to serious chronic pain.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition meaning that the body attacks itself. In this case, the joints are attacked as if they are a foreign presence within the body.
    • Symptoms with Rheumatoid Arthritis tend to occur more suddenly. The symptoms are redness and swelling of joints. It can also make you feel unwell and tired.
  • Weight – this disease affects our joints so if our joints are burdened by carrying excess weight they will be under more strain. This of course leads to additional wear and tear.
    • The impact of weight also affects our ability to stay mobile and flexible which then exacerbates the symptoms further.
  • Our family genetics can predispose us to this condition. Look at your older relatives and if you see arthritis then we suggest you take preventative action and follow the tips we recommend now.
  • Infections bring bacteria into our bodies and sometimes these bacteria can affect the body. This emphasises the importance of maintaining good gut health. If your gut is functioning well it is more equipped to dispose of unwelcome bacteria.

Products that can help you

Fortunately, there are a great number of options for you to explore. Remember like the disease everyone will react differently so one solution will be perfect for one person but not another.

  • Omega 3 fatty acids are excellent support to your joints. You can take a supplement and make sure you eat plenty of wild, organic fish like salmon and flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts.
  • Evening primrose oil or hemp oil contain Gamma Linolenic Acid which a number of people find very beneficial for their joints.
  • Diet is of course of major importance eat:
    • Lots of veggies and fruit
    • Leafy greens, legumes and ancient grains
    • Bone broth contains lots of natural collagen. Collagen helps repair the damage caused by wear and tear or injury. If you have osteoarthritis eating bone broth provides your body with collagen to support your cartilage and protect your bones
    • Don’t eat sugary processed foods or gluten
  • Ginger offers you analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and is available in so many different ways:
    • Food
    • Supplement
    • Massage oil
    • Tea
  • Turmeric is a favourite of ours. We have praised the actions of curcumin – the active ingredient many times. Curcumin is an amazing antioxidant that helps to reduce swelling and inhibits inflammation.
  • Boswellia or Frankincense is another versatile option. Again it comes in:
    • Supplement
    • Massage oil
    • Boswellia has been compared positively to conventional painkillers in terms of efficacy.
  • MSM – is an effective supplement and many of my patients have experienced good pain control from its use. It is attributed with reduced joint inflammation. There are also associations with rebuilding tissue and lowering pain levels. It can also be obtained from onions, garlic, asparagus and cabbage.
  • Glucosamine is another joint remedy that is extremely effective for many people. Glucosamine is a natural compound in cartilage so it is a logical choice for repairing your cartilage. If you need to use it long term then go for HCL rather than sulphate. Sulphate is only suitable for short term use as the salts will accumulate in your body if you use on a long term basis.
  • Green lip mussel extract comes in both supplement and gel form and again is very popular with our customers. It is a rich source of omega 3 and associated with reducing inflammation.
  • Rosehip oil is available either as a supplement or oil. Many people swear by it. Rosehip is an effective antioxidant that appears to ease inflammation and prevent joint damage.
  • Devils Claw is a herbal preparation that is anti-inflammatory and supportive for those who suffer osteoarthritis
  • Ginkgo is another antioxidant. Regular readers know the importance of antioxidants to counteract the impact of free radicals that can cause damage within the body.

Lifestyle tips to help you

  • Don’t stand or sit for too long, staying mobile helps you retain your flexibility and puts less strain on your joints.
  • Do some daily stretches to keep your suppleness.
  • If you do experience an attack then rest during this time.
  • Have a regular exercise plan. Remember that exercise releases endorphins which make you feel good. It also strengthens muscles. Swimming is a great form of exercise and the water supports you taking the strain of your weight. Straining your joints is not good so weight training exercise is perhaps not the best for you.
  • Compression can help a number of people so try a compression bandage and see how it works for you.
  • Have a good sleep; the loss of sleep generates stress. A stressed body is more prone to inflammation and pain.
  • Attitude makes a big difference. When we are in pain it is easy to get demotivated and irritable. A positive mental attitude has a direct impact on our health. My motto is:

What You Think …You Become

What You Feel…You Attract

What You Imagine…You Create

  • Meditation is a great way to relax and maintain a positive attitude. As a meditation teacher I have seen people relax deeply, releasing long held tensions and calming their heart rate. Ultimately, you can relieve yourself of muscle tension which helps you manage your symptoms far more effectively.
  • A number of people use either cold or heat treatments. Stiffness tends to respond well to warm applications like baths, showers and hot water bottles. Cold applications help joint pain, swelling and inflammation. Use an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel or one of the cooling gels available for this purpose

The key to your health is doing what works for you. We have presented a number of solutions so try them and find what is best for you. We hope we have given you some inspiration and hope that you can manage your pain and live a more comfortable life.

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