Do your knees creak? This, plus joint twinges can be a sign of osteoarthritis, which is more common in people, particularly women, over the age of 45.
What’s more, 1 in 7 women over the age of 65 has symptoms of osteoarthritis. “Most often affected are the spine, knees, hips and the base of the thumb,” says rheumatologist, Philip Conaghan.
There’s no cure, but these tips can help…
1. Stay active
“It used to be thought that exercise was bad for arthritic joints, but we now know that being active is vital,” says rheumatologist Dr Rod Hughes. “Inactivity weakens muscles so they no longer hold your joints in place.”
Plus, losing just 5% of body weight helps ease pressure on joints dramatically.
Try: Walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, Pilates and other exercises that put the joints through their full range of motion.
Avoid: Running, tennis and sports with repetitive motions.
2. Eat right
Raise a glass of red wine. Resveratrol, a plant chemical found in red wine, can help protect cartilage from inflammation, according to research reported by Professor Ali Mobasheri from the University of Nottingham, UK.
Spice it up. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been shown to help ease pain and lower levels of inflammatory chemicals in osteoarthritis. Try it in curries or sprinkled on foods such as scrambled eggs.
Eat broccoli. Already associated with reduced cancer risk, recent research done at the University of East Anglia in the UK has found that a compound in this super veg, called sulforaphane, blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction.
3. Try these supplements
Rose hip. Eight out of 10 osteoarthritis sufferers experienced less pain and stiffness when they took a wild rose hip preparation rich in a compound called GOPO (glycoside of mono and diglycerol).
Devil’s claw. In one study, people with osteoarthritis of the knee, hip or lower back reported less pain after 8 weeks of devil’s claw, an indigenous South African plant. Consult your doctor if you take blood-thinning or diabetes medication.
Glucosamine sulphate. A Study published in the British Medical Journal recently concluded that glucosamine doesn’t work, but other research suggests that glucosamine sulphate may be more effective than glucosamine hydrochloride, and many sufferers still swear by it.
DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.
A freelance writer and editor, with 15 years’ experience in the media industry. With a passion for health and fitness, Tammy loves nothing more than researching the latest wellness trends. And if she’s not running around after her sweet four-year old daughter, you’ll find Tammy on her bike, in the gym or exploring the great outdoors – followed by a good coffee, of course!