Many of us will suffer from joint pain at some point in our adult lives. This could be down to a host of reasons from injury-induced pain to age-related aches such as inflamed joints, arthritis or back strain.
The winter months can be especially bad for joint pain, as when we are cold our body restricts how much blood it sends around extremities, like our hands and feet, so that it can focus on supplying vital organs, like the heart and lungs. This makes the soft tissues around the joints less pliable, so joints can feel tight, stiff and uncomfortable. To lend a helping hand and suggest natural ways you can combat joint pain this winter, top Naturopathic Nutritionist, Amy Morris from Water for Health shares her top tips:
1. Warm water can be a great comfort if you have any type of pain, including joint pain, due to is soothing qualities. Heated pools for example, can provide a form of relief by easing joint pain, as well as being a great way to exercise. Additionally, you can also gain relief from warm baths filled with Epsom salts, which will provide you with added comfort and will relax any muscles and joints that are painful.
2. Vitamin D may play a vital role to help ease joint pay over the winter. As there is less sunlight during the colder months, it’s very important to keep your Vitamin D levels topped up. According to the Government’s advice, we should be taking 10mcg of Vitamin D per day, however this amount is disputed by many health care professionals who believe 10 mcg is too low. This will help reduce any muscular or joint pain, as Vitamin D helps keeps your bones healthy and supports muscular functionality.
3. Staying hydrated will ease any muscular pain by flushing out any harmful toxins. Dehydration can make your muscles and joints more sensitive, which can cause excruciating pain. Studies have shown, everyone should be drinking at least 2 litres of water per day to help release any tension. Excessive alcohol drinking is directly linked to inflammation which can also worsen any joint pain, by decreasing the amount of drink, it will help ease any pain.
4. Fish Oil supplements can help reduce inflammation and will help ease the pain of any muscular or joint discomfort. To ensure you’re getting adequate amounts of omega 3 in your diet, Amy recommends taking a high-quality supplement, UnoCardio 1000 (£35.75 from www.water-for-health.co.uk). This unique supplement combines omega 3 with Vitamin D which also helps with joint pain, and it has been named as the highest quality fish oil supplement on the market by Labdoor since 2015.
5. Exercise is a must to keep your joints pain-free during the winter months. Light resistance training and low impact workouts such as, Yoga and Pilates, are excellent sports to reduce any pain. Before any sport, always warm up beforehand to ensure no muscle strain or damage.
6. The correct diet is key to reducing joint and muscle pain, as an unhealthy diet can increase joint discomfort due to excessive eating, or eating the wrong foods, ultimately leading to unwanted extra weight and added pressure on your muscles. It is very important during the winter months to not over indulge. Keeping a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet which is also rich in omega 3 will help you ease the pain within your joints. Foods which are proven to have anti-inflammatory effects include tomatoes, olive oil and green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach.