Have you been experiencing pain or discomfort in your neck, shoulders, or knees? Unfortunately, joint pain is part of growing older and according to research, during menopause, old joint-related or musculoskeletal injuries can flare up again. You may start to experience stiffness or achiness in your articulations, as well as swelling. Sometimes the symptoms are worse in the morning when you wake up and may subside somewhat as the day unfolds.
Prevention is key
However, there are some preventative measures you can do to reduce your risk of osteoarthritis and get the best performance out of your hips and knees, perhaps for many years to come. Physical activity is one of those: in fact, regular exercise keeps your joints active, which can boost their resilience to injury and strain later on.
According to leading British physiotherapist, Sammy Margo, “Early intervention is key. Adding a supplement to your daily routine, alongside maintaining a well-balanced and varied diet can offer additional support to achieving optimal joint health.”
To minimize your risk of experiencing aches and stiffness in your body, follow these basic steps.
- Stretch and strengthen
Regular stretching helps to keep joints and tendons flexible. If muscles are tight, the range of motion can feel restricted which adds extra pressure to the joint tissues. Strong muscles and regular stretching ensure articulations are well supported.
- Add an anti-inflammatory supplement to your diet:
You may find some benefits from natural supplements which reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. There’s strong evidence to suggest that a key component of rosehip, known as GOPO, can help ease joint pain and reduce the need to take other painkilling medication. Further research, published in the journal Phytomedicine, found it can improve joint mobility in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Also, Green tea contains compounds that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful in combating joint pain. Curcumin (an active ingredient of turmeric) and/or Boswellia serrata provides relief for people with osteoarthritis of the knee, too.
- Maintain a healthy weight
Excess weight puts additional stress on joints. Essentially, the heavier you are, the greater the impact on the joints and the stronger the muscles have to be to control movements. Ensuring that muscle-mass percentage is higher than body-fat percentage is crucial to maintaining muscle strength, which helps to ensure you move well.
- Wear appropriate footwear
If you exercise regularly it’s important to have shoes that offer enough cushioning and support to prevent trauma to the joints and bones. Invest in good quality footwear that fits well and is appropriate for the type of exercise you choose to do.
- Stop smoking
Most people are unaware that smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. According to NHS, the British National Health Service, smoking also increases the likelihood of injuries involving bursitis or tendonitis. Smokers also have a higher risk of low back pain and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Mix up your movements
Adding variety to your workout routines can relieve pressure and reduce the impact on lode-bearing joints. If you’re used to exercising multiple times a week, make sure you mix it up. Why not try cycling or focus on your flexibility with a Pilates session?
Above all, know your limits. It’s normal to have some muscle aches after you exercise. But if you hurt for more than 48 hours, you may have overdone it. Don’t push so hard next time.