Stay off the Sidelines
Jun 7, 2012 Posted by: Dr. Sara Henderson ND
Most of us want to enjoy life on our own terms. However, the symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA) can manifest themselves as early as your mid 40's. OA is a joint disease caused by the wear and tear of daily life and it inevitably appears with age. Mechanically speaking, the cartilage that covers and cushions bones starts to thin, causing narrowed joint space or bone-on-bone contact, which brings inflammation, pain, limited flexibility and reduced motion. High-performance joints, such as ankles, knees and hips, are most susceptible to this disease. Excess weight, family history and the long-term effects of impact sports can also play a role in your risk of OA and in its progression. But the onset of OA doesn’t mean your tennis, golf and running days are over. A variety of supportive therapies can help ease the pain, rebuild your cartilage and stop its decline.
Put Pain in Its Place
Conventional pain remedies such as ibuprofen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, come with a number of physical side effects and do not contribute to long-term results. My preference is that you take steps to manage your pain using therapies that contribute positively in other ways to your overall health. Low impact exercise and treatments, such as hydrotherapy, can ease still joints, build strength and relax sore muscles. The benefits of healthy weight loss also extend far beyond reduced joint stress to include improved heart and circulation health, lower risk of Type II diabetes and an overall improvement in your sense of well-being. Diet recommendations play a role in joint health. Eat more sulfur-containing foods, such as asparagus, eggs, garlic and onions. Sulfur is needed for the repair and rebuilding of bone, cartilage and connective tissue, and it also aids in the absorption of calcium. Other beneficial foods include fresh vegetables, non-acidic fresh fruits, whole grains, brown rice, fish, soybean products and avocados.
Rebuild the Shock Absorber
Glucosamine (sulphate and hydrochloride) is familiar to arthritis sufferers as an important nutrient in healthy cartilage. This essential joint nutrient is often found in combination with chondroitin sulfate and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Research over the last decade recommends glucosamine to support the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. Yet, many people are concerned about taking shellfish-based glucosamine. In Canada, only Jamieson Laboratories makes its glucosamine formulas using a premium vegetarian raw material source.
The Matrix Reloaded
Some sufferers require additional support to manage their OA. Collagen, which is a matrix of natural proteins found in our joint cartilage among other tissues, is an excellent stand-alone or adjunctive nutrient if used in its undenatured form. Made with UC-II® undenatured Type II collagen, Jamieson Collagen Glucosamine Complex helps rebuild cartilage and slow the secretion of cartilage-degrading enzymes. UC-II® undenatured Type II collagen has been clinically proven to be twice as effective as 1,500 mg of glucosamine and 1,200 mg of chondroitin1. One 40 mg capsule daily is your premium option for the prevention and management of arthritis. The formula also contains glucosamine, Vitamin C and magnesium, which synergistically work to support collagen and cartilage formation and to improve joint and muscle function.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
Be proactive now, and the measures you take will help preserve and protect your joint function. It’s never too early or too late to start!
-Sara Henderson, Naturopathic Doctor REFERENCE: Crowley DC, Lau FC, Sharma P. et al. Safety and efficacy of undenatured type II collagen in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: a clinical trial. Int J Med Sci 2009; 6:312-321.