Winter Joint Care – Keep Yourself Active Whatever the Weather

One of the sad facts of ageing is the accompanying aches and pains, especially in the cold.  We all feel the creaks in our joints and bones from time-to-time, but it can be managed without resorting to heavy painkillers.

Common areas particularly prone to pain in winter include the neck, knees, jaw, hips and extremities.

The findings show the long-term use of paracetamol and ibuprofen could be damaging for joint ache sufferers. Instead,  it’s an area that is worth considering the alternative to pain suppressing, especially as using these painkillers for prolonged periods of time could increase the risk of heart attack/strokes, can damage liver and kidneys and also cause heart failure.

Dr Sarah Brewer, a nutrition and supplement expert, worked in partnership with LQ Liquid Health Jointcare to research the benefits of the combined natural ingredients in supporting joint health.

The ingredients most supported by evidence for proven joint benefits include:

Glucosamine which works to preserve glucosamine supplements preserve joint health by reducing cartilage breakdown, and maintaining collagen production. In 106 athletes with acute knee injury, daily glucosamine for 28 days significantly improved knee bending (flexion and extension) compared with placebo

Chondroitin reduces pain and inflammation, improves joint function and slows progression of osteoarthritis (OA).

Hydrolysed marine collagen is derived entirely from fish collagen, and provides eight out of the nine amino acids the body needs. 

Hyaluronic acid helps to keep collagen synthesis up.

Ginger root extracts offer natural pain relief and help manage age-related aches and pains

Modern day diets often struggle to provide enough of these nutrients to provide a therapeutic benefit, so Dr Sarah advises looking for a high-quality supplement, which can help in several ways by:

  • providing building blocks for the production new joint components
  • Act as signals to switch on the repair of damaged tissues
  • Suppress inflammation
  • Inhibit enzymes that dissolve cartilage

Studies using cultured human cartilage cells have found, for example, that the level of 31 different proteins are altered by the addition of glucosamine or chondroitin, compared to non-treated controls.

    • 35% were involved in biological signalling (telling cells what to do)
    • 25% were involved in the synthesis of proteins such as collagen
    • 15% were involved in antioxidant stress responses

Professionals also recommend that using magnesium-rich Epsom salts in a hot bath can help reduce pain without having to resort to painkillers – this is also especially effective for those struggling with conditions like Osteoarthritis.

Poor posture is often behind joint injury so trying a class like Pilates can not only help resolve the feelings of pain and stress but also help resolve the underlying cause of your discomfort.

Burst or HIIT training can help to keep the body mobile and weight off the joints, but alternatively, swimming, yoga and walking daily are all ways of helping to stay active and encourage the production of endorphins and serotonin, which improve mood and reduce pain signals.

Use of hot and cold packs alternately can help ease swelling and inflammation between joints.