Dr. Michael Clarfield’s Joint Health Tips
Jun 14, 2011 Posted by: Guest Expert
- Maintain a healthyweight. Excess weight puts additional stress on joints and ligaments and that, in turn, increases pain and inflammation, especially around the knees. Follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to help you lose weight. A 10-pound weight loss can make a notable difference in mobility and pain reduction.
- Get regular exercise. Although you might be experiencing decreased mobility, your joints need to move. In fact, joints are nourished with movement, while inactivity causes them to stiffen. Moderate low-impact aerobic exercise, along with light strength training, has been proven to help eliminate joint pain and stiffness. Walking, swimming or taking a yoga class three to four times each week will help reduce stiffness, increase flexibility and promote weight loss, which lessens joint burden. A physiotherapist can provide guidance about an appropriate program for you.
- Get plenty of rest. Living with arthritis can drain your energy. Remember to take breaks (off your feet) throughout the day as this temporarily reduces the joint stress. Recharge your body with seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
- Make some occupational changes. If your occupation involves repetitive movement or puts stress on the affected joint, talk to your employer about strategies for your workspace, such as an ergonomic desk or device, that will lessen the burden of lifting or moving materials. Take frequent breaks and walk around to keep joints limber. Make sure your desk provides ample leg room so you can stretch.
- Apply heat to problem joints to increase blood flow and decrease stiffness and pain. This can also be applied or used during activity. Ice problem joints for 15 to 20 minutes after activity to reduce inflammation brought on by exercise.
- Physical therapy. Work with a physiotherapist, chiropractor or massage therapist to increase your mobility and ensure the proper alignment of your musculoskeletal system. Acupuncture may help ease joint pain and stiffness.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep tissues hydrated and to reduce inflammation.
Make some dietary changes. Include sulfur-containing foods in your diet, such as garlic and onions. Sulfur helps repair and rebuild bones, cartilage and connective tissue.
Eat an abundance of colourful fruits and vegetables, vegetable protein and whole grains. Some arthritis sufferers are also sensitive to solanine, a compound found in nightshades, such as eggplant, tomatoes and white potatoes. Avoiding these foods may help eliminate some pain and discomfort. Restrict the amount of red meat,
dairy, sugar and processed food in your diet, all of which
can cause inflammation.
Get regular exercise. Although you might be experiencing decreased mobility, your joints need to move.
A complete joint care regimen also includes the following supplements:
UC-II Undenatured Collagen: Blocks the enzymes
that degrade cartilage and promotes cartilage repair increasing joint mobility and flexibility
- Glucosamine: Helps relieve joint pain associated with osteoarthritis and protects against the deterioration of cartilage.
- Chondroitin Sulfate: A natural component of cartilage that helps in the formation of connective tissue and relieves symptoms of bone and joint pain.
- MSM: A naturally occurring sulfur compound that helps form connective tissue and relieves osteoarthritic pain.
- Omega-3s: Fish oil may help reduce joint inflammation.
- Vitamin C: Supports the synthesis of collagen, may protect against cartilage loss and has antioxidant properties to prevent free radical joint damage.
Vitamin D: Low Vitamin D levels can have a negative impact on bone health and increase the progression
Dr. Michael Clarfield, Director of The Sports Medicine Specialists