Arthritis? Joint pain? Pain and stiffness in knees, shoulders, hips, hands or back?

Joint pain, stiffness and arthritis are conditions which are usually associated with the frail and elderly. However, it is becoming increasingly common for joint pain & stiffness to affect younger, healthy and active people too. Fortunately, there are ways to improve and manage joint health, while still enjoying a busy, active lifestyle.

What is joint pain?

Joint pain and stiffness can range from mildly uncomfortable to incapacitating. Your joints form the points where two or more bones connect and help to keep you mobile.

Joint pain can affect your knees, shoulders, neck, hip, ankles and even your hands and feet! If any injury or damage is caused to the joints, it can restrict movement and result in a lot of pain.
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What causes joint pain?

There are various conditions that can lead to joint pain and these include
• Arthritis
• Osteoarthritis
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Bursitis
• Overuse or wear and tear of the joint
• Gout
• Strains or sprains
• Fibromylagia
• Dislocation
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Clinical Depression
• Osteoporosis
• Diet
• Lack of exercise
• Repetitive movements
• Hypothyroidism
• Infection of the bone
• Lupus
• Lyme disease
• Tendinitis
• Cancer
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What you can do to help yourself

Many people who suffer from joint pain, stiffness or arthritis usually take anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. While these anti-inflammatory medications may relieve the symptoms, continued use can cause severe side effects.

There are alternatives to conventional anti-inflammatory medicines. Natural remedies are fast becoming the go-to choice for joint pain and discomfort. Studies have shown that herbs such as ginger, turmeric, cat’s claw, aloe vera, boswellia, devil’s claw, arnica and eucalyptus are very effective in treating painful joints, reducing swelling and inflammation. Minerals like magnesium (especially topical magnesium) are also very effective in relieving muscle and joint pain.

In the Feelgood Health range, there are a number of natural remedies to offer relief joint pain and arthritis: 
Mobilive - our new and improved herbal formula, MobiLive relieves painful joint conditions in all joints, including back and neck pain or pain and stiffness in knees, hips, hands or shoulders. It also acts as a natural alternative to prescription or over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs. 
RollAway Reliever – a unique Magnesium oil formulation which combines Magnesium Oil, Arnica and Calendula in a convenient roll on dispenser for fast natural relief from joint and muscle pain, arthritis and post exercise muscle and stiffness.
RealHeal Massage Oil – an aromatherapy massage oil for healing after injury and surgery. It is also effective for arthritis pain, rheumatic conditions as well as sports injuries.    
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Some helpful tips to manage your joint pain

1. Stay active

A lack of physical activity is not good for joint pain. It’s important to keep moving and stay active to help relieve pain and stiffness. Regular exercise strengthens the muscles that support the joint and helps to maintain the joint’s full range of motion. Very often, people who suffer from joint problems may avoid exercising because they have pain or discomfort and then end up gaining weight  which makes the problem worse!

Excess weight will put pressure on your joints and that is why exercise is highly recommended to support arthritis and painful joints, and of course to lose weight too. Try gentle exercises such as swimming, water aerobics, walking, weight lifting, yoga, pilates or tai chi – all exercises that won’t put undue strain on your joints.
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2.  Use hot and cold therapy

Applying hot and cold treatments to sore joints helps to relieve pain – it is also an easy way to treat yourself at home! Take a long, warm bath or shower to reduce stiff joints and inflammation. Use a heating pad or hot water bottle to keep joints loose and supple.

Cold treatments such as ice packs (even a frozen bag of peas will do!) relieve joint pain and swelling. Do these home treatments regularly to manage your pain and you’ll note the difference in no time at all! 
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3. Alternative therapies

Studies show that alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage or hydrotherapy can be beneficial in managing joint pain without using medication. These types of therapies not only offer pain relief but also help to soothe stiff, sore joints and muscles and relax your body and mind.
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4.  Add more omega 3’s to your diet

Omega-3 fatty acids have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and are excellent for joint health and conditions such as arthritis and osteoarthritis. Fish oil and codliver oil supplements contain omega 3’s and help to reduce joint pain and stiffness.

Flaxseed oil and hemp oil are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and taking 1 to 2 tablespoons per day can relieve joint pain and arthritis. Find Flaxseed and Hempseed oil by Crede at the Feelgood Health Shop, 8 Gabriel Road Plumstead, Cape Town or call 021 797 0193 to order.  
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5. Remember to rest and relax

While it is important to stay active and exercise, getting enough rest and relaxation will also help to alleviate pain. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep at night to rest your joints and body. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or meditation to cope with stress or depression that may come about as a result of joint pain or arthritis.
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