Our lifestyle is the key to osteoarthritis prevention and progression according to research published in the International Journal of Molecular Science. This is something I have long since preached so it is good to hear science back up my rantings!
The researchers suggest that you can manage osteoarthritis with simple lifestyle changes to your diet and by using the correct exercise program. We all do have non-modifiable risk factors such as genetics, age, gender and ethnicity but they conclude that lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise can offset these precursors and, in some cases, override them.
Diets intended to achieve weight loss, physical activity, and physiotherapy are extremely important and should be encouraged as they reduce pain and improve joint function in OA but, at the same time, they are also relevant for other common and chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. A controlled diet, full of all the required nutritional factors, especially vitamins, may reduce the oxidative stress responsible for inflammation, and the decrease of fat and glucose concentration may eliminate some of the predisposing factors to obesity and then to OA.
Also the hydration equilibrium is important, and if it is maintained, correct functioning of the joints occur.
The study suggests moderate exercise is the best way forward. They suggest extremely forced exercise found in some sports increases the joint risk and therefore the chance of developing osteoarthritis. I agree with them is is usually torsional movement through the body that is worst. They suggest
Physical activity and physiotherapy, when moderate and without forcing the body itself, are important to the muscles and to the joints.
This neat picture was put up as part of the study and I think it gives an excellent risk outline for our modern lifestyle.
This figure shows 5 different lifestyles.
(A) Pictograph A shows a person who leads a healthy life choosing a controlled diet, rich in nutrients and vitamins, and moderate physical activity. This subject reduces the risk to develop OA, both in cartilage alterations and inflammation.
(B) Pictograph B shows a sportsman. In this case, the extremely forced physical activity, wrong movement, and direct joint impact or torsional load, lead to an increased joint risk. This risk is mostly located in the joint of the shoulders, arms, hips and knees.
(C) Pictograph C shows a person who leads a sedentary lifestyle. Here, little physical training is responsible for muscle weakening and, consequently, to wrong posture. The major risk is visible in the joints of the spinal column and shoulders. Furthermore, the use of smart phones and computers increases the risk of OA in the joints of hands and wrists.
(D) Pictograph D shows an obese subject. Here, the increased body weight lies heavily on the joints of the spinal column and of the lower limbs, such as hips, knees and ankles.
(E) Pictograph E shows a subject not consuming a proper diet. The loss of vital nutrients increases the risk of developing OA in most of the joints of the subject itself.
Manage Osteoarthritis By Changing Your Diet
The saying “We are what we eat” has never been so true as in this 21st century. Fast food and snacking is the norm in modern life and these contain preservatives and large amounts of refined sugar and animal fats. They also have very few vitamins and minerals which in turn leads to malnutrition. It seems weird but most obese people are also suffering from malnutrition!
What this means is the essential nutrients our bodies require to be healthy are not available. This means their bodies cannot metabolise correctly which leads to the destruction of cartilage causing OA. Add then the mechanical overload of being obese and the joint really doesn’t stand a hope!
By feeding our body correctly it can metabolise correctly and, to be honest, it is not as difficult as you might think. The advent of these super blenders mean it is quick and easy to get our daily essential vitamins and mineral and they are the key to both the prevention and to manage osteoarthritis.
Manage Osteoarthritis with Exercise
It is important you realise the difference between exercise and exercises.
Exercise is things like going for a walk and although good for your health in other ways, will not help your osteoarthritis.
You need to do a specific, individually designed program of exercises to help your osteoarthritis. First you need to stretch the affected muscles before slowly and carefully strengthening them. You cannot take an exercise off YouTube and do the job properly. Do too much and you can make matter worse. Do too little and you are wasting your time.
How I Manage My Osteoarthritis
My diet has never been too bad. I have always cooked from scratch for my family and we live too far out of town for takeaway deliveries and they are cold by the time we get them home! My BP is below average for my age and I have good cholesterol and sugar levels. I am overweight.
However, I did think I could do better (as my school report nearly always used to say!) so my breakfast for the last couple of months has been a drink made with my Magic Bullet NutriBullet Pro 900 Series Blender. I have lost several kilos without trying and, there is no doubt, I feel more energetic. My OA has been pretty quiet lately since taking Devil’s Claw (I now take 2 per day with my liquid breakfast) so, all in all, I feel I have the diet side covered. The Nutribullet is the easiest and laziest way I know to get good levels of vitamins and mineral into your body.
I have followed an exercise program now for 8 years. I do my exercises on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Plus I do a 2 minute stretch morning and night as I get in and out of bed. I get plenty of exercise as I live on 18 acres with 5 acres of kiwifruit and my daughter and I have 5 horses. This keeps me pretty busy and well exercised!
So the 3 things that work for me are:
1. Exercise and Exercises. Click on this link to get an individual program of exercises
2. Diet now using my Magic Bullet NutriBullet Pro 900 Series Blender which has certainly helped and has the added benefit of getting breakfast into my teenage daughter!
3. Supplements. For me Devil’s Claw works by far the best.
Any questions you have on how to manage osteoarthritis please feel free to drop me an email.