Joint pain – more common than it seems
Joint pain is a growing concern for populations around the world and an extremely common ailment across all age groups, but most prevalent in those 35+ and ex-athletes. The knee is one of those body parts that causes many people give up activities that give them pleasure in life. It doesn’t really matter whether you are working out at the gym three times a week or just doing a morning jog from time to time – it can be really frustrating if nagging knee pain prevents you from staying healthy, active and fit. Even more so, knee pain can often be annoying to a point you avoid doing hobbies such as gardening, dog walking, hiking, or riding a bike around the park.
But when we look at the numbers, the market research indicates about 26% of sufferers do nothing to remedy their situation, choosing instead to live with niggling joint pain. That can affect our mood and quality of life which can eventually, in a long term, have different mental and physical consequences. That’s why, the first thing you should do, if you are experiencing any kind of join pain, is to talk to your doctor.
However, there are some healthy habits you can develop and include in your everyday routine that can help you avoid joint pain and maybe, in some cases, even help you get rid of it completely.
Exercise – The backbone of healthy lifestyle
By now, no one is a stranger to the fact that exercise and any kind of sport activities benefit our overall health, keeping both our body and mind sharp and fit. Taking part in recreational or individual sporting pursuits like jogging, cycling, gym, yoga, walking, gardening and golf, especially outdoors, can greatly improve physical and mental health, decrease stress, enhance pleasure, increase life satisfaction, bring us joy and sense of accomplishment.
Exercise and leisure activities impact our wellbeing, with scientific research which demonstrates the many benefits they have in people’s lives. We would even dare to say the foundation of long and healthy life is staying active and engaged in any kind of sport or recreational activity. However, with time, our body changes and as much as we take care of it, some injuries may occur or even unexplained joint pain. It can limit one’s mobility and affect their mood.
In situations like that, it’s important to consult with your doctor who can give you expert advice to reduce pain and inflammation and preserve joint function. Whether it’s some sort of medication, physical therapy, or alternative treatments, it’s important to follow the doctor’s instructions to relieve of the pressure and pain in your joints. Be sure to ask your doctor what kind of low-impact exercises or physical activity won’t irritate the joint, so you can stay active even during those troubling time. For example, people injure themselves a lot of the times while playing recreational football. The recovery from such injury may take a while and if football is forbidden during that period, swimming and bicycling are some of the best exercises because both allow you to exercise your joints without putting impact on them.
Just remember – exercise has benefits for your health in general, not just for your joints. That’s why every individual should choose the right kinds of activities for them. If you’re not experiencing any knee pain, you can enjoy in your favorite spots as you please, but those who have joint problems should choose activities that build the muscles around the joints while not damaging the joints themselves.
Healthy, well-balanced diet
As much as it can be an ally, food can also have devastating effect on our body. Eating too much refined sugar, fast food and obesity can seriously harm our health. Regarding joints, it’s important to point out that knees have to support your body weight and it puts too much pressure on them if we are overweight or not consuming enough of healthy food. Nutrition and well-balanced diet are so much more than “eating green” – it also means drinking enough water and providing our body with whatever is lacking.
Obviously, no single food is a cure-all for supporting joint health, but there are some ingredients that can have positive effects on your knees. Cherries, blueberries and blackberries may curb inflammation so you can search for them or other richly colored fruits next time your visit your local supermarket.
It is also truth universally known that certain types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can help reduce inflammation. Salmon, tuna, sardines are all great sources of omega-3 and you can make them into various delicious meals. Put your cooking hat on and have some fun around the kitchen while prepping your next healthy and well-balanced meal. You can combine it with whole grains and other forms of dietary fiber or even add extra virgin olive oil because it contains natural anti-inflammatory agent that has properties similar to the drug ibuprofen (source: Medical News Today).
Get some sun
Vitamin D is a nutrient that is vital for bone health, but many people have low levels of vitamin D without realizing. If you’ve noticed that lately you are getting sick more often than usual, you’re experiencing fatigue and tiredness, your mood is pretty down, then maybe all these symptoms are just vitamin D deficiency. But, before you give yourself any diagnosis, call your doctor and ask him for advice.
Human body can either create vitamin D through exposure to sunlight or obtain vitamin D from the diet. That’s why the first step of obtaining vitamin D would be to take a walk outside because it will do two beneficial things to your body: it will absorb vitamin D and you will give your bones and muscles some physical activity which can help you with joint pain.
Although sunlight is an excellent source of the vitamin, overexposure can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. Make sure you wear sunscreen and avoid hot, midday sun to prevent burning. In winter, a vitamin D supplement can help get the job done, but don’t forget the benefits of food rich in vitamin D as well: mushrooms, salmon, egg yolk, cereal and oatmeal.
If you decide to take any vitamin D supplements, make sure you talk to your doctor or healthcare professional to adhere to the dosage they recommend. Too much vitamin D can cause toxicity, so make sure you follow their advice. As with anything in life, dosage is crucial.