Brad McIntosh, Physiotherapist at Sydney Physio Solutions shares his top tips for reducing joint pain and stiffness.
For most of us doing cartwheels and jumping rope are now just fond memories of a time when our bodies didn’t ache and creak with every step. However, joint pain, stiffness and a loss of mobility doesn’t have to be synonymous with growing older. Here are ten tips for reducing joint pain, stiffness, and increasing mobility.
1. Use it or lose it, baby
Half of all age-related changes to our muscles, bones and joints occur because they’re not being used. Lack of physical activity actually increases joint pain and stiffness. Exercise has been proven to maintain bone strength and joint flexibility, as well as strengthen muscles around joints.
2. Drop a few
Extra body weight can put more pressure on joints, particularly knees, hips and feet. Losing weight can reduce the stress on your joints, as well as increase mobility, minimise pain, and also prevent further damage to your joints.
3. Hot and cold
Start your morning with a long, hot shower or bath to increase blood circulation and loosen joints. For quick pain relief, apply a cold pack to the painful joints and reduce swelling.
Supplements such as Blackmores Glucosamine Sulfate Complex 1000 may relieve joint pain, increase joint mobility, and reduce joint stiffness, caused by osteoarthritis.
5. Spice up your life
Turmeric, while also a staple in Indian recipes, contains a chemical called curcumin with anti-inflammatory properties, and may be able to reduce pain caused by arthritis.
6. Gone fishing
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, such as salmon, may help reduce joint pain and stiffness.
7. Say OM
Meditation and other relaxation activities and techniques can help reduce stress and, in turn, may help reduce pain from arthritis. Meditation can also help you better cope with joint pain.
8. Stick with tradition
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical treatment that has been practiced for centuries, and is thought to reduce the pain of arthritis. If you’re brave enough to undergo this needle-treatment, be sure to go with an experienced and recommended acupuncturist!
9. Just keep swimming
Low impact exercise, such as swimming and water aerobics, is a fantastic way to stay active without adding weight and pressure to sore joints.
10. Stretch it out
Stretching is a fantastic way to help maintain joint flexibility. Try to practice balance and coordination stretches as this can also help to reduce the risk of falls.
Would you add anything else on the list that has worked for you? Share your advice in the comments below.