Have you ever complained about your aches and pains only to have your spouse, friend, or doctor tell you that it’s just a sign that you’re getting older? Don’t you just hate that? I’d rather believe in the philosophy of my favorite action hero, Indiana Jones: In one of many scenes having been chased, beaten and battered, Indiana Jones hurt all over. In an attempt to help, Marion noted, “You’re not the man I knew ten years ago.” Rolling his eye, Indiana replied, “It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage!” Raiders of the Lost Ark (Source: Paramount)
Our joints are simply amazing works of engineering excellence. They bend, rotate, flex & stretch. We can bend, sit stand, kneel, squat, lunge, snap, roll, and flip. Athletes, acrobats, aerialists and the occasional action figure astound us with motions that seem to defy reason, body mechanics and gravity for that matter! For most of us, our goals are a bit more grounded. We want to maintain fitness and avoid injury.
While it’s true that age is a factor in joint deterioration, wear & tear can also take their toll. Since we can’t roll back the odometer let’s look at ways we can increase our “joint” mileage.
What a Pain
The most common form of joint pain is Osteoarthritis. According to the US National Library of Medicine, cartilage, or lack thereof, is the primary culprit when it comes to joint pain:
- Cartilage is the firm, rubbery tissue that cushions your bones at the joints and allows bones to glide over one another.
- If the cartilage breaks down and wears away, the bones rub together which causes pain, swelling & stiffness.
- Bony spurs or extra bone may form around the joint. The ligaments and muscles around the joint also become weaker and stiffer. (Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
Certainly some genetic predisposition make some of us more prone to joint issues there are other factors that decrease our joints’ longevity like:
- Excess weight making our joints work harder
- Previous injuries to the joints including ligament injuries
- Sports especially those involving repetitive motion like baseball, tennis and golf. Other sports that involve twisting our joints like basketball and soccer also increase risk.
- Jobs or activities that involve a lot of squatting, lifting & climbing
- Perhaps the occasional treasure hunting expedition, but I digress.
Okay, so we know that cartilage can be a culprit when it comes to our aches and pains. What you may not know is that collagen is the part of the cartilage that gives it shape, flexibility and strength. It is a victim of aging, however, as we tend to lose our ability to make collagen. Here’s the good news: a study at Penn State University found that a form of collagen called collagen hydrolysate improved joint pain, mobility and reduced inflammation in athletes. Other clinical studies have shown that several promising herbal combinations have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits. Here are a few to consider:
- Aswagandha & Boswellin: these herbs have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They’ve been shown to help reduce joint and muscle swelling and relieve discomfort.
- D-glucosamine Hydrochloride: A natural ingredient found in healthy cartilage improves joint function and comfort.
- Borage Oil: containing Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) is a powerful anti-inflammatory. [Over a 24-week study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Borage oil was proven to reduce tender joints and swollen joints by 28 percent in a group with rheumatoid arthritis]
- Glucosamine: a natural compound that helps to rebuild cartilage and stimulate the production of collagen
- Arthred®: a patented hydrolyzed collagen protein (HCP) that has the same series of amino acids that form the framework of human cartilage required for its generation.
Its important to note here that you get a dual action with the combination of the above nutrients. Not only to you get short term relief by reducing swelling and inflammation, you also get the long term function of nutrients that protect your joints against further deterioration. One comprehensive approach is to supplement your diet with Reliv’s patented Arthaffect® which delivers 20+ ingredients that work together to optimize joint function. (Source: Reliv International)
It’s back to the basics when it comes to improving your joint function. Right now more than 46 million Americans have arthritis and worldwide its a whopping 355 million! By 2030, arthritis is expected to rise by 40 percent. (Source: Reliv International) Most people turn to pain relievers which may lead to unwelcome and unpleasant side effects. Why not begin by taking these simple steps to reduce the stress on your joints and improve your mobility for a long, healthy, active & fit life.
- Lose it - Losing just 15 pounds can cut knee pain in half.
- Eat right — a diet rich in calcium & Vit D can help maintain bone strength. Look for nutrients like omega-3s in oily nuts and fish to help lubricate joints.
- Move more — Walking, swimming, cycling and strength training are my favorites. Stretching is also important to support the muscles and ligaments around the joints.
- Supplement — a balanced blend of nutrients as described above may help to relieve joint pain, reduce inflammation & swelling, improve function and possibly repair damage.
Whether the treasure you’re seeking is around the world or on the top shelf of your pantry, you can improve your years and your mileage by maintaining healthier joints for a lifetime of exciting adventures ahead!
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Copyright © 2012 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written consent from the author.