Joyous joints - Freedom of movement through nature!

Although it is true that you are as young as you feel, winter sometimes tends to creep up on those of us in our ‘later years’. Even those of us that are middle-aged and younger can struggle with creaky joints and sore bones. With winter here, a drop in temperature and chilly winds can mean aches and pains for most, and severe pain and discomfort for those with arthritis, rheumatism or sore, stiff joints. However, a lot can be done to prepare joints for chilly days and protect joints from the colder season. While Arthritis can be hereditary, it can also be part of the body’s aging process, particularly when years of incorrect diet and sedentary lifestyles begin to take their toll! However, this does not mean that arthritis is something to live with without treatment.

Know the dangers ...

Despite the short term relief which they may offer, commonly prescribed conventional medications for Arthritis can come at a price. Vioxx, (known generically as rofecoxib), was a commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory for arthritis, until recently, when a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association linked Vioxx to blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. As a consequence, Vioxx was recalled in the largest prescription drug withdrawal in history. The withdrawal was prompted after a new study examining Vioxx's impact on bowel cancer found the drug caused an almost twofold increase in heart attacks and strokes. Serious stomach problems, such as stomach and intestinal bleeding, were noted as well as increased risk for liver problems.

So is there a safe and natural option?

Yes there is. Remember, the body is a tool, and an instrument. The same way guitar strings need to be oiled to prevent them snapping, various tissues and joints in the body need to be handled in a gentle manner to prevent and lessen symptoms of bothersome arthritis or rheumatism.

What natural treatments should I consider?

Natural and herbal remedies can provide much needed assistance in alleviating symptoms of joint pain. For instance, did you know that for thousands of years, the Khoisan people of the Kalahari Desert have used Devil's Claw as a natural anti-inflammatory to treat painful joint conditions and other health problems.

Devil's Claw is an active ingredient in MobiLive – an all-natural remedy containing a variety of powerful herbs to provide gentle and effective support and relief to achy joints and lower back pain. MobiLive also contains Glucosamine sulphate and Boswellia serata – helping to rebuild damaged cartilage as well as reduce inflammation. This means that not only does one receive the relief of a natural anti-inflammatory (without the side effects), but over time, the joint actually begins to repair itself, leading to greater health and mobility. So, winter need not become a pain in the neck!MobiLive is side effect free and 100% natural. For this reason, this remedy is widely used to assist with any form of arthritis, fibrositis, myalgia, rheumatism or gout - keeping joints mobile and free-moving in a natural manner!

Detox for healthy joints:

Did you know that aching joints can also be an accumulation of toxins in the body, building up in the joints and causing inflammation and pain? In addition to treating the joints themselves, it can therefore also be beneficial to help your body to detox naturally, leading to improved overall health – as well as joint relief.

For routine toxin elimination and cleansing, Detox Drops contains Taraxacum officinalis, Foeniculum vulgare and Pelargonium reniforme in a proven liquid herbal formula to help eliminate toxins, increase energy and strengthen the immune system. The ingredients in this formula are also beneficial for the liver as well as the digestive system – good for organs and joints!

Here are some other great tips for healthy joints:

Get moving.
The right exercise program can increase your range of movement, make you less tired, decrease your pain and help you feel better overall. Choose an exercise like swimming or walking which doesn’t place too much stress on the joints. Yoga or Pilates can provide not only the benefits of exercise, but also of stretching – thereby making joints more supple and increasing range of movement.

Sit up straight.
Good posture reduces stress on vulnerable joints. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed when you stand and that your chair is the right height for your work surface.

Get rolling.
Avoid lifting heavy objects by using a trolley or cart to move things like dustbins, suitcases and grocery bags. Get a shopping basket on wheels and get into the habit of pushing it rather than dragging it, as this is very heavy on your finger joints. Investigate online shopping possibilities, especially where groceries are concerned. It’s quick and easy. Don’t be shy to ask someone to help you load things into the car or move heavy things. No-one minds receiving a tip, so the help is mutual.

Don’t twist!
Use tap openers, jar openers, electric tin openers and a food processor rather than trying to do these chores manually. Put a thick rubber strip around the handles of all items you use frequently, such as pens, knives, pans and gardening tools. This will relax your grip and decrease stress on your hand joints. Accept that there are things that will now take longer to do. Take breaks while doing something like gardening. This will prevent you from overstressing your joints.

Get high.
Increase the height of your favourite chair, either by putting blocks underneath it or attaching leg extenders. This will enable you to get up more easily.

Chill out.
When joints are inflamed, apply something cold which will decrease the pain and swelling by constricting blood vessels and preventing fluids from leaking into the surrounding tissues. A bag of frozen vegetables, such as peas, works very well as it can be molded to fit the shape it needs to be.

Reach out.
Join a self-help group. This will not only give you a chance to speak to others who are going through something similar, but also give you an opportunity to find moral support and get helpful hints, tips and referrals.

Lose those extra kilo’s.
Extra weight increases the stress on the joints of your knees and hips. Losing weight will also make you feel better about yourself. Excess weight means more pain – there’s simply no way around it. A healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetables will also help your body cope with the medication you may be taking.

Don’t go off the rails.
Investing in railings around stairs, the bath and the toilet could be one of the best investments you will ever make.

Dump those pumps.
Get rid of all your uncomfortable high-heeled shoes. Staggering about on four-inch heels will do you, your feet and your arthritis no good. Invest in comfortable, yet fashionable shoes – and yes, they can be flat.

Water, water everywhere.
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. If you’re taking medication, your kidneys will need all the help they can get. Keep a bottle on your desk and in the car. Remember water is what helps to remove toxins from the body. The synovial fluid in joints is also largely made up of water and this means that good hydration is an important part of joint health.

Do the late shift.
If you work in an office, ask whether you can start and end an hour later. Many arthritis sufferers have great difficulty with stiff joints in the morning and this shift change might make all the difference.

The truth is out there.
Go to your doctor and find out what your correct diagnosis is. There are many types of arthritis and all require different treatments. Not knowing what type of joint problem you have is much worse than getting the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Be sure to ask them about natural treatments too…

More tips for joyful joints:

  • Buy the squeeze bottle version for as many items as possible (mayo, syrups etc). It’s far easier than trying to fight with the lids.
  • Ladies: Try foundation makeup in a pump bottle. Similarly, pump hair spray bottles may be difficult to handle, especially when your fingers hurt. A water bottle with a trigger handle is easier to spray and even provides a better mist! Also, instead of carrying a purse with sore fingers or dangling a bag over a sore shoulder, try a back-pack purse - and look really cool to your granddaughters!
  • Keep laundry baskets in the boot of your car. When shopping, put your packages in the baskets, They will not spill out and when you get home you can get someone to carry the entire basket to the house, which means less steps to get everything unloaded.
  • Can't reach under the sink to clean? Line the bottom with plastic placemats. When they get dirty, just pick them up and wash them.
  • Use a wooden pizza paddle to help you tuck in the sheets and blankets of your bed.
  • If you have difficulty handling small buttons on clothing, replace them with Velcro. Simply sew the buttons on the outside (showing part) of the item and apply the Velcro to the inside areas.
  • Keep a small set of nail clippers with the attached nail file nearby – use it to pop-up and push-in the tabs on soda and juice cans, or anything else that has a pop-top. Remember to always use something dull, so as not to injure yourself.
  • For driving, try weight lifting gloves. The palm is padded, and so are half the fingers. They are thin, lightweight and the padding cushions sore and swollen hands. Just be sure they don’t hinder your management of the steering wheel.
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