Dr Sarah Brewer March 26, 2018

Your joints have a tough time walking you - quite literally - through every stage of life. Think about it – walking, running, typing, squatting, carrying, lifting…every one of these movements relies on your joints, just like you – therefore – rely on your joints to keep doing the things that you love.

As you get older the connective tissue that acts as a shock absorber to your joints gets worn down. This is completely normal, but it can increase the friction in your joints and prompt joint pain. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do not only to aid painful joints but to help prevent them in the first place.

1. CBD oil

CBD is the health trend set to take centre stage in 2018. A natural ingredient from industrially produced hemp plants (meaning they’ve been bred so we can access the benefits of CBD without any of the psychoactive elements of THC), CBD oil is incredibly popular in the USA after extensive medical research on its health benefits. We’re expecting the UK to follow suit.

CBD hemp extracts are antioxidant and have anti-inflammatory effects on joints, to help improve pain and stiffness. They also have pain-relieving effects due to their interaction with certain parts of the brain.1 If you’re not keen on taking supplements, choose CBD droppers which are applied directly to the tongue for rapid absorption.

2. Preventative measures

You might think exercise is the single easiest way to damage your joints when, in fact, it’s not. Exercise strengthens the muscle surrounding your joints – giving you more support and preventing cartilage degradation.

You should aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise per week– around 30 minutes per day – or more. There are plenty of joint-friendly aerobic activities out there such as swimming, aqua-aerobics, walking, low impact dance, tai chi and cycling. Resistance work (lifting weights or using weights machines at the gym), as well as stretching in the form of yoga or Pilates helps with strength, too.

Recently you may have seen Dr Michael Mosely have the impact on his joints tested comparatively during running and walking on TV. Interestingly – contrary to what many have believed for a long time – running is not harder on your joints than walking so it’s a perfectly sensible option to contribute to your weekly exercise.

3. Glucosamine and fish oils

Retaining flexibility in your joints comes from the inside too. The best supplements to help you stay flexible are omega 3 fish oils, which help to reduce inflammation and ‘oil’ your joints. Krill oil provides additional antioxidants for extra benefit.

Glucosamine is also a goof option with studies showing glucosamine and chondroitin (taken together) can more than halve symptoms of pain, stiffness, swelling and joint effusions in knee osteoarthritis after six months.

Whilst joint pain might seem like an unavoidable symptom of ageing – it’s not. And beginning the preventative process at a young age will leave you feeling grateful later in life – grateful and more encouraged to keep up your activity levels!

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References
1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28967368

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