by Dr. Rebecca Farthing (Osteopath & Naturopath)
There are many things that can cause tender, aching or painful joints. Sometimes, it can just be an acute injury, or it could be something more chronic such as arthritis. But the good news is that your joints can be supported naturally. Here are some of my top tips for sore joints.
Keeping yourself hydrated is essential for joint health. It encourages lymphatic flow, allowing the body to flush out toxins from the area. It’s also important for ensuring sufficient blood and nutrient flow to the area, which supports healing.
Everyone has a different need when it comes to hydration. A good starting point is building up to 2L of water per day. If it’s a cold day, herbal teas can make up the bulk of your water intake.
Keep it warm
Many of us were taught to use ice on any type of injury. But the research is starting to show that heat may be better for long-term healing. The same goes for your joints.
Using heat, such as heat packs or a warm bath, can improve blood flow to the area. This means that more nutrients and healing factors can reach the injured area and repair any damage quickly.
Stock up on soup
Soup is one of the best ways to get nutrients into the body. You can add plenty of vegetables, herbs and spices that are all full of nutrients to support joint healing. Soup made using bones, often termed ‘bone broth’, also contains gelatin. Gelatin contains the amino acids that your body needs to repair damaged joints.
Eat a rainbow
If your joints are sore, what you want is a natural anti-inflammatory. That’s where eating a variety of coloured fruits and vegetables comes in. Fruits and vegetables such as berries and green leafy veg are full of antioxidants that protect the body from inflammation and oxidative stress. Reducing inflammation can reduce pain levels.
Aim to include at least 4-5 different colours on your plate each day. Add a side of blueberries to your breakfast, chop up some red capsicum, carrot and spinach to go with lunch, and mix some mushrooms into your pasta sauce. It’s that easy!
Minimise the junk
While you want to increase your antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods, you also want to reduce the foods that have the opposite effect. That means foods that are highly processed and packed with things like added sugars and additives.
Many processed foods contain compounds known as AGEs, which have been shown to cause inflammation. So try to find healthier versions of your favourite treats instead.
Consider therapeutic supplements
Food should always be your first approach when it comes to wellbeing. But if you are dealing with a chronic condition like arthritis, supplements are worth considering. There are a number that show promise in joint health, including glucosamine, chondroitin, turmeric and magnesium.
However, supplements can vary greatly in quality. The best way to find the right supplements for you is to work with a practitioner who can access high-quality therapeutic supplements for you.
Do you have joint pain? If you would like to investigate this further, please book an appointment with one of our Osteopaths who will be able to assess you and put a management plan in place that is specific to you.
This blog post is an educational tool only. It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.
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