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Bone & Joint Health

Although World Bone & Joint week 12th – 20th October is behind us, it is still worthwhile to discuss Bone & Joint Health.

Current Evidence Suggests:

  • Bone & Joint health is important at all stages of life. However, having strong bones is something people tend to take for granted, as symptoms often don’t appear until bone loss is advanced.
  • Bone and joint conditions are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability worldwide affecting hundreds of millions of people.
  • Musculoskeletal conditions include back pain, arthritis, traumatic injuries, and osteoporosis and childhood conditions.
  • Osteoarthritis is ranked fourth worldwide as a cause for years lived with disability.
  • Unless actions are taken now, the global prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions is predicted to increase greatly due to increasing life expectancy, changes in risk factors and availability of appropriate prevention measures.
  • Musculoskeletal conditions can lead to significant disability plus diminished productivity and quality of life.

NUTRITION & LIFESTYLE HABITS IMPACT in maintaining strong bones & joints and it’s never too early to start.
Building healthy bones is extremely important. Minerals are incorporated into your bones during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Once you reach 30 years of age, you have achieved peak bone mass.
If not enough bone mass is created during this time or bone loss occurs later in life, you have an increased risk of developing fragile bones that break easily. Fortunately, many nutrition and lifestyle habits can help you build strong bones and maintain them as you age.
Joints form the connections between bones. They provide support and help you move. Any damage to the joints from disease or injury can interfere with your movement and cause a lot of PAIN.

Some Healthy Handy Tips & Advice from Balanced Healing – How to Ensure Healthy Bones & Joints

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Alkalising the body’s Ph with Lots of Vegetables – Consuming a diet high in vegetables has been shown to help create healthy bones during childhood and protect bone mass in young adults and older women. Alkalising the body PH reduces the risk of calcium leaching in an attempt for the body to alkalise.

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Perform Strength Training and Weight-Bearing Exercises – Performing weight-bearing and resistance training exercises can help increase bone formation during bone growth and protect bone health in older adults, including those with low bone density. It may also help protect against bone loss in younger and older women, including those with osteoporosis, osteopenia or breast cancer.

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Consume Enough Protein – A low protein intake can lead to bone loss, while a high protein intake can help protect bone health during aging and weight loss. 50% of bone is made of protein. Low protein intake decreases calcium absorption and may also affect rates of bone formation and breakdown, studies have found that this doesn’t occur in people who consume up to 100 grams of protein daily, as long as this is balanced with plenty of plant foods and adequate calcium intake

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Eat High-Calcium Foods Throughout the Day – Calcium is the main mineral found in bones and must be consumed every day to protect bone health. Spreading your calcium intake throughout the day will optimize absorption. The RDI for calcium is 1,000 mg per day for most people, although teens need 1,300 mg and older women require 1,200 mg

Get Plenty of Vitamin D and Vitamin K – Getting adequate amounts of vitamins D and K2 from food or supplements may help protect bone health. Vitamin D plays several roles in bone health, including helping your body absorb calcium. Vitamin K2 supports bone health by modifying osteocalcin, a protein involved in bone formation.
Avoid Very Low-Calorie Diets – Diets providing too few calories have been found to reduce bone density, even when combined with resistance exercise. Consume a balanced diet with at least 1,200 calories daily to preserve bone health, dropping calories too low is never a good idea.
Consider Taking a Collagen Supplement – Emerging evidence suggests that supplementing with collagen may help preserve bone health by reducing collagen breakdown. While there isn’t a lot of research on the topic yet, early evidence suggests that collagen supplements may help protect bone health.
Maintain a Stable, Healthy Weight – Being too thin or too heavy can negatively affect bone health. Furthermore, maintaining a stable weight, rather than repeatedly losing and regaining it, can help preserve bone density.
Include Foods High in Magnesium and Zinc – Magnesium and zinc play key roles in achieving peak bone mass during childhood and maintaining bone density during aging.
Consume Foods High in Omega-3 Fats- Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to promote the formation of new bone and protect against bone loss in older adults.

Management of Pain


For moderate-to-severe joint pain with swelling, an over-the-counter or prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) can provide relief. Most of these drugs have an increased risk of heart, stroke and other cardiovascular events. NSAIDs also can have side effects, potentially increasing your risk for gastrointestinal bleeding.

So look for a natural alternative for pain relief in the form of herbal extracts like – Boswellia, Curcumin, Devils Claw, Ginger, White Willow Bark, Valerian Root, and Magnesium & Capsaicin. The extracts found in these natural plants — may relieve joint pain from arthritis and other conditions. The Topical application of Capsaicin blocks substance P, which helps transmit pain signals, and it triggers the release of chemicals in the body called endorphins, which block pain. Side effects of capsaicin cream include burning or stinging in the area where it is applied.

Some research has indicated that glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can help with joint pain and improve function. Both of these substances are components of normal cartilage, which helps cushion the bones and protect joints. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are available in capsule, tablet, powder, or liquid form. Although these supplements don’t work for everyone, they are safe to try because they don’t have any significant side effects.

If your pain is so severe that NSAID’s and Natural medicines aren’t effective enough, (bear in mind that natural remedies will need a longer time to become effective – there is no instant gratification) you may need to consult your local physician. Also note, some antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs are known to interfere with pain signals, so be clear with your practitioner as to your current medication regime before opting for pain relief.

Physical Therapy

You can work with a physical therapist, physiotherapist, biokineticist to strengthen the muscles around the joint, stabilize the joint, and improve your range of motion.
If you are overweight, losing weight could relieve some of the pressure on your painful joints. Exercise is one effective way to lose weight (along with diet), but be careful to stick with low-impact exercises that won’t further irritate the joint. Swimming and bicycling are among the best exercises because both allow you to exercise your joints without putting impact on them. Because water is buoyant, swimming also relieves some of the pressure on your joints.

Home/Self Care

You can relieve short-term joint pain with a few simple techniques at home. One method is known by the acronym, PRICE:
Protect the joint with a brace or wrap.
Rest the joint, avoiding any activities that cause you pain.
Ice the joint for about 15 minutes, several times each day.
Compress the joint using an elastic wrap.
Elevate the joint above the level of your heart.
Applying ice to your painful joints can relieve the pain and inflammation. For muscle spasms around joints, try using a heating pad or wrap several times a day. Your physical therapist or doctor may recommend that you tape or splint the joint to minimize movement or reduce pain, but avoid keeping the joint still for too long because it can eventually become stiff and lose function.

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