I bet we all know someone over 40 who deals with joint pain of one kind or another. And what I hear from many is this – “well I’m getting older so I suppose it’s inevitable” – a shame really as it ISN’T inevitable! Knowing how to prevent or get rid of nagging joint pain can actually feel like getting your life back. While there are over 100 kinds of arthritis, the 2 we hear the most about are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid.
Those with Osteoarthritis are dealing with cartilage and tissue that are wearing away. It could be from “an old injury” or repetitive activity over time that will lessen the cushioning of joints where they meet. The tissues that are deteriorating really just need proper nutrition or nutrients to stop the progress. Warming the areas, moving more, and improving flexibility all work to improve Osteoarthritis. Yoga, gentle stretching, warming herbs like Ginger, Turmeric, Cayenne, whether in an herbal combination or topical preparation will give relief and start the healing process.
With Rheumatoid arthritis it is more of an inflammation as tissues become stagnant causing stiffness and pain which settles into cartilage and the cushioning around joints. There are many supplements that help with inflammation including the ones mentioned above, but can also add Devils Claw, White Willow bark and Apple Cider vinegar for even more relief.
I also have seen the benefit of enzyme supplements. Enzymes are actually produced in the body to assist with digestion, but also assist with general inflammation. However between our ongoing digestive needs, there isn’t always a ready supply available to spread around to areas that are inflamed. Supplementing diminished enzymes in the body can have positive influence with soreness and improving overall circulation. Look for a combination of enzymes such as bromelain, papain and lipase – these are the most common.
Of course diet will come into play here. So much of our diet contributes to inflammation in the body, with all the processed foods available it’s no wonder inflammatory diseases are on the rise. Start to really look at what your diet consists of. For many instead of good wholesome home cooked meals, we opt for convenience and pre-packaged foods.
Try and consider quality when purchasing or planning your meals. Buying at farmers markets when they are open cut costs in half for fresh produce – or grow some of your own! During the off season, you can find various organic vegetables at reasonable prices as the demand for them is increasing.
Some Tips On What To Avoid:
Processed Food – too long of a list, but simply start to read labels. For example, even if you start looking at the sugar content in any item you buy, you’ll be surprised. Items like flavored yogurt, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, bread, salad dressing, crackers – there’s more of course, but most of us buy or have purchased these items -start reading the labels! Other items like margarine and shortening, juice that is high in sugar, (using syrup as a sweetener), soda pop– regular or diet, just not necessary! I’m afraid baked goods and pastries should be avoided, or at the very least, make your own from scratch and then you can control the sugar etc.
Healthier Foods To Include:
- Real butter and Health Oils - Low fat is not always better. These are ‘real’ foods from whole ingredients. Low fat causes irritation, healthy oils and fats your body knows how to use and helps with lubrication, which helps with pain
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – this means roaming around the produce department, looking for items you like and then even considering items you may have never tried. Start looking up recipes for certain items so you can really ‘enjoy’ what you are preparing, instead of just eating them for the sake of eating them.
- Sea Salt -should be used liberally. Excellent source of natural minerals. Look for one that is pure.
- Seafood - High in protein and omega fatty acids, try more meals with fish, then vegetarian and then meat and dairy – (animal proteins cause more acid in the body) Variety is key.
Last but not least is keeping up your water intake. Our joints and discs are cushioned with water, the more dehydrated you are the more it shows up over time as degeneration and pain. Needless to say we have more control than we think over how our body feels – take some time to make some positive changes so you can enjoy your activities at any age!
Master Herbalist, Iridologist & owner of Root2Health, Katy Lowe has been assisting others for over 16 yrs to find do-able answers to their health issues. Katy studied under Dr Richard Schulze, and then later integrating the Mind/Body connection, spent time with numerous spiritual healers including Deepak Chopra. Katy believes the mind/body approach and law of attraction enhances the healing process. Root2Health has its own organic line of Herbal Formulas to take care of the guess work!