Updated: Jan 25
How is yours right now?
We can take our joints for granted for decades until trouble hits. Stiffness, clicking, crunching, pain...Often, at some stage, as joint trouble hits unexpectedly - doctors say it is "age related".
They don't know where it might have come from. Like, “it’s just one of those things”.
In many cases - it is possible to know where it came from. And we can do much to prevent stiffness, clicking, pain, arthritic and other "age-related" changes.
Let's break this down.
The anti-inflammatory, nutritional and hydration aspects of our diet cannot be underestimated.
Here are some essential foods to incorporate into your diet for joint health:
Omega-3 and vitamin D rich oily fish (salmon and mackerel are great)
Dark leafy greens. Think spinach, kale, broccoli and collard greens have vitamins E and C
Nuts and seeds
Lentils and beans
Garlic and onions
Spices such as ginger, turmeric and cinnamon
and... bone broth - especially home made or organic shop bought, as these contain chrondroitin, glucosamine and collagen as well as amino acids for healthy joints, plus calcium and magnesium for healthy bones. Wow, what a powerhouse of nutrients.
If you would like to perfect your diet even further, I recommend reaching out to an amazing Julia from Julia Nutrition who can provide you further amazing advice on making the most of your diet. Links to her contact details below.
But if your diet is already sorted… then - here is a question for you - are age-related changes in your joints, such as arthritis, actually preventable? And why do they occur?
Well, as you probably realise, we have to move, move a lot, but also to move WELL.
And - If you are already aware just how important movement is for lubrication of joints with SYNOVIAL FLUID, great.
But it is not just HOW MUCH we move. It is HOW we move that matters.
Introducing the concept of “joint centration”.
A centrated joint is positioned optimally, literally - not off-centre - with the little local stabilising muscles securing it nicely in its proper space.
The joint will have the correct degree of freedom where it needs to go and move. It does not rub, impinge, or scrape excessively against the connecting surfaces. It is neither too loose, nor too deep.
A joint that is not centrated will have more friction somewhere that no amount of hydration, lubratication or mobilisation will resolve in the longer run. The body’s tolerance to that will eventually be exceeded as the wear-and-tear process sets in.
So we can end up with bursitis, bone spurs, or cartillage damage.
For instance, for the hip and shoulder joints - we can have something called "labral tears" where the surrounding joint (ball-in-socket) cartillage is so damaged that it rips. Ouch.
Or we can ger osteoarthritis - a change in the quality of joint with swelling, pain, inflammation.
How can we centrate our joints better?
Firstly, you need to get properly diagnosed. And you need to know whether this is a problem related to your CORE stability system.
Hint - if you experience two-sided body problem, for instance, hip artritis on both hips, or shoulder impingement on both sides, it is a CORE problem. Anything bilateral is a central midline core body problem. Then our rehabilitation starts with getting the core working - making our breathing great, reducing excess pressure in the belly, keeping tummy and lower muscles strong and free of unnecessary tension.
Or - is it a problem related to one side of your body? Then we have a slightly different starting point.
Secondly, in either case, you need to get exercises appropriate to YOU to make them very effective.
Such as - not just rubbing out the muscles around the painful spot, but looking to get stability where the body lacks it.
For instance, a lot of people can get hip arthritis because their hip is not centrated in the socket because of weakened local deep muscles, because of difficulty with hip extension, or trouble rotating the thigh bone in the socket… and maybe there was an injury associated with that, but just as likely it can be scarring from, let’s say, an appendix surgery on that side decades ago that affected tissues running into the hip.
Or, there may have been a bad ankle sprain on that side, making the foot very stiff and unstable, and the whole hip ended up compensating and over decades, exceeded its tolerance for compensation.
It is so important to know what the driver for the problem is. Then, we address that, and the joints become better centrated with relevant exercises targeted for YOU.
And not just with doing a hundred “clam-shell” exercised hoping that it may solve the hip arthritis issue, for instance. It may well not help, although it might.. who knows!
If you have a problem with artitis, bursitis, impingement, or similar, reach out to me for a chat. There is so much to learn and discover about our own bodies, and I can make the process of healing fun and engaging.
I run several group Pilates and movement therapy classes per week, and work on a 1-1 basis to provide excellent care to assist you on your journey.
To your health,
Julia Withespoon from Julia Nutrition: