maintaining joint health

As we get older we tend to notice more aches and pains. Joints are probably the most complained about body part! Knee pain can be particularly prevalent, as our knees support our entire body weight. Joint pain can also be an issue if you are a keen sports person or athlete, as you are more prone to over use and tears.

 

A healthy BMI can take pressure off the joints, decreasing pain. When you walk the force on your knees is the equivalent of 1 1/2 times your body weight, so it naturally makes sense that decreasing your weight will reduce this force on your joints.

 

Smoking causes a multitude of problems when it comes to joint health. Lowering blood supply to the bones, decreasing calcium absorption and slowing down production of bone forming cells are but a few of the affects that smoking has on our joints.

 

Whether you’re having on-going joint problems, or you are recovering from an injury, there are elements that you can include in your diet or supplement with tablets that can improve the maintenance and growth of your joints. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist about taking any of these supplements. They must be taken under guidance as excessive dosage can be toxic. There are many supplements that you can take to promote joint health, but here’s a few to start with.

 

Omega 3

 

Omega 3 from fish oils are thought to improve blood flow. Include oily fish in your diet. Salmon, mackerel and fresh tuna are ideal sources. Omega 3 helps reduce the wear and tear of the joints. These fatty acids stop enzymes called collagenases from damaging joints. Omega 3 is known to reduce inflammation and strengthen the tendons.

 

Cod Liver Oil

 

Cod liver oil is a good source of omega 3’s, vitamin A and Vitamin D.

 

Vitamin C

 

Vitamin C plays an important role in the production of cartilage. It helps to produce collagen, which is a vital component in making tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. As vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, it is not stored in your body. Therefore it is essential to get a frequent and regular intake of this vitamin. It can be found in many fruits and vegetables.

 

Vitamin D

 

Vitamin D is vital for bone and cartilage health. Whilst vitamin D is naturally produced in the body through exposure to sunlight, it’s a vitamin the we in Britain don’t get enough of! It helps your body absorb calcium. While it is stored in your body, it is important that you replenish it daily. If you don’t have enough vitamin D over time you may develop problems like osteomalacia, a condition that causes bone pain and tenderness.

 

Vitamin K

 

Vitamin K works with Vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium. It activates a protein called MGP, which helps new cartilage grow. It also controls bone mineralisation and supports growth of new bone tissue. Vitamin K is found in leafy greens and in olive and canola oils.

 

Vitamin A

 

Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy tissue in your body. Aside from supplements, it can be found in halibut or cod, organ meats such as liver or kidneys and dairy products. Vegetables are also a good source of vitamin A. Brightly coloured veg, such as leafy greens, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes and carrots contain it.

 

Calcium

 

99% of calcium in the human body is found in the bones and teeth. For strong and healthy bones you need calcium! Including dairy products, green leafy veg, soya, tofu and nuts in your diet will help provide you with plenty of calcium.

 

Silicon

 

Silicon is found in most body tissue and helps to bind the bone and provide strength. Eating whole grains and fresh vegetables should give you a good source of silicon.

 

If you’re struggling with joint pain, are injured, or have a historic injury that is still causing problems we may be able to help. Contact us at Sheffield Physiotherapy for a consultation.