We all know that feeling better involves regular exercise. But what about those of us who can’t move as much as we would like to due to the pain of arthritis? Trying to exercise with joint pain puts a kink in your fitness routine.
Osteoarthritis, a wear and tear condition that shows up in joints as we age, is not inevitable. A substance called collagen is the body’s main bone and cartilage builder, and acts as a shock absorber on the ends of our bones. Some people are more genetically prone to collagen defects than others, but osteoarthritis can also form with conditions like obesity, joint injuries, and repetitive movements on the job such as bending and lifting.
Losing weight plays a role in addressing joint pain, as well as strengthening the muscles around the damaged joint. Good nutrition can help too. Vitamin C promotes collagen formation. Vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus help to build strong bones. Omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Eating a good diet that contains these things would include citrus fruits and berries, broccoli and peppers for the Vitamin C; dairy products and eggs for the Vitamin D; yogurt, beans, garlic, nuts and seeds for the calcium and phosphorus; and fish, walnuts and healthy oils for the omega 3’s.
Also, supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and collagen hydrolysate can help to build new cartilage, and offer as much pain relief as anti-inflammatory drugs without the damage to the stomach lining.
--Dr. Kate Kennedy