Creaking knees and clicky hips? Joint pain can really creep up on us; one day you’re as sprightly and flexible as a teenager, and the next you’re groaning as you struggle to get off the couch. Although joints might not be high up on our list of self-care, if we don’t look after them as we age, we risk compromising our independence later on in life. Mobility is key to having a healthy body, a healthy social life and being able to enjoy all the activities we love.
Here’s why joint pain occurs, and what you can do about it.
How common is joint pain?
It is estimated that one in four people suffer from arthritis or persistent joint pain. Generally we don’t pay attention to our joints until they begin to bother us, at which point it may be more difficult to manage the pain or reduce the symptoms.
What causes joint pain?
Our joints are cushioned by cartilage—smooth and rubbery connective tissues which are lubricated by synovial fluid. As we age, the cartilage in key joints begins to break down leading to inflammation and in time, potentially osteoarthritis.
What’s the difference between osteoarthritis and arthritis?
Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint, and affects people of all ages, including children.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 30 million adults in the United States have osteoarthritis. That makes osteoarthritis one of the leading causes of disability in adults. It most often develops with older age, and affects the cartilage lining of joints, leading to pain and stiffness.
The other most common type is rheumatoid arthritis, where the body’s immune system targets joints, causing pain and inflammation. This is often caused by hereditary factors or an immune disorder.
How do I prevent joint pain?
Reducing how often you engage in high-impact exercises such as HIIT and running can relieve pressure from joints, although don’t stop exercising altogether as this can make joints even stiffer. Strengthening the muscles around your joints alleviates some of the pressure on joints by distributing weight more efficiently around your body.
Don’t overlook your activewear either—ask for a gait analysis at your local sportswear store for advice on comfortable, supportive shoes that will help with alignment. Knee braces and compressive leggings can help support sore knees too.
Swimming, pilates, cycling and yoga are great options for maintaining mobility without putting your joints under too much strain. Plus, check out our Mobility Fundamentals IGTV series with Christian Lewis-Pratt, Founder of The Move Studios, for short, daily practises that will nurture your joints and keep you moving well.
Try our Mobility Fundamentals series here
What are the best vitamins for mobility?
Black Pepper: Piperine extract, an active ingredient in black pepper, is proven to improve the bioavailability of key nutrients and vitamins. In simple terms, it makes all ingredients work harder.
Turmeric: Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric has been shown to block certain enzymes and cytokines that lead to inflammation in the body.
Indian Frankincense: Also known as Boswellia Serrata Gum, it has been used for centuries in Asian and African medicine where it’s used as a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and analgesic agent. The key compound inhibits inflammatory responses in the body.
Calcium: Calcium is an essential mineral for building strong bones and teeth and helps to protect against osteoarthritis. It is also crucial for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
Glucosamine: Glucosamine is a natural component of cartilage, a substance that prevents bones from rubbing against each other and causing pain and inflammation. It might also help prevent the cartilage breakdown that can happen with arthritis.
We include all of these ingredients in our daily JOINTS supplement, which is proven to protect against collagen degradation and reduce joint pain within 90 days.