(BPT) – Soreness, stiffness, tenderness – joint pain can have a direct impact on quality of life. Fortunately, there are a number of proactive steps that incorporate all-natural solutions to help improve joint health and overall wellness.
Joint pain is one of the most common health concerns. It affects 30 percent of U.S. adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Not surprisingly, joint pain prevalence increases with age. Forty-two percent of adults 45–64 years old, and about one-half of adults 65 and older, have experienced recent joint pain, the CDC reports.
“Just because a person ages, it doesn’t mean they should hurt,” says Dr. Christopher Mohr, a fitness and nutritional expert who consults for television, print and radio outlets throughout the country. “Lifestyle plays a big role in maintaining joint health. Joint health and integrity is built on a strong foundation – diet, exercise, and weight management.”
Mohr offers four all-natural ways to improve – and even eliminate – joint pain in the knees, hips and ankles:
1. Eat for joint health
Key nutrients that help with joint health, mobility and lubrication are healthy fats like omega-3s. “Think of these like lube for your joints,” says Mohr. “Replace some of the usual protein in your diet with fish – wild salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies, etc. Aim to do this at least twice per week.”
In addition to increasing foods with healthy omega-3 fats, Mohr recommends reducing unhealthy fats like trans and saturated fats. These are often found in packaged items, sweet treats and other overly processed foods.
“Of course, also think about adding loads and loads of colorful veggies and fruits, as well as decreasing sugar and other refined carbs in the diet,” Mohr suggests.
2. Add supplements
Omega-3 fats can support joint health, but often people don’t get enough through the foods they eat. Supplementation is a good option for people who suffer from joint pain. “Joint health can be maintained by ‘feeding’ the body what it needs,” says Mohr. “Nordic Naturals provides a high-quality, concentrated dose of omega-3 fats that your body uses most efficiently. I like the Nordic Naturals EPA Xtra product, as EPA is one of the omega-3 fats that’s particularly beneficial for healthy joints.”
3. Manage a healthy weight
“The less body weight you have to carry around, the easier it will be to move around,” says Mohr. “Make physical activity a regular part of your day. The stronger your muscles, the easier it will be to move comfortably. Above all, this will help relieve some of the common pains in the joints.”
4. Stay physically active
Mohr says one of the most common misconceptions about joint pain is that rest is helpful. “Unfortunately that becomes a vicious cycle, where more rest can ultimately cause more pain because the surrounding muscles are getting weaker and giving less support to those joints,” he says.
Appropriate physical activity should be part of a daily joint-health routine, but it doesn’t require joining a gym or hiring a trainer. Start with simple steps, like standing instead of sitting, walking as much as possible, swimming at a pool, etc. Basic movements can keep weight in check and maintain joint and muscle integrity.
Joint pain and soreness is common. By taking a few simple steps at home, you can dramatically change how you feel and how you move, so you can live to the fullest every day.