You can achieve a lot with the right nutrition, but don’t forget the importance of exercise.
Joint pain and muscle pain are often mentioned in the same breath, but what exactly is it?
What Are Joints?
A joint consists of two or more bones that move against each other .
In most joints, the ends of those bones are covered with cartilage, which protects your bones and helps with smooth movement.
Without the cartilage, too much force would be put on the bones in the joints.
Because this cartilage is deformable, it can absorb large shocks. Think of it as the shock absorber of your car. Due to the interaction of load and stool, the cartilage remains alert and therefore well maintained.
There are several joints in our body:
- Hinge Joints | knees, elbows and fingers
- Rolgewricht | tussen ellepijp en spaakbeen
- Saddle joint | at the base of the thumbs
- Ball joint | mobility of the hip and shoulder
How does joint pain develop?
Joint pain can be the first sign of osteoarthritis.
This is a disease of the joint in which the cartilage shows signs of wear.
This pain often gets worse in cold and damp weather, but of course also with stress.
Cartilage is in fact between 2 bones as a kind of cushion – or think of the shock absorber of your car from earlier.
If you strain this too much, without sufficient relief phases – due to jerking movements or being overweight – this wear and tear will occur more quickly.
Good to know: osteoarthritis is not the same as arthritis.
Osteoarthritis does not involve inflammation, while arthritis does.
Importance of movement
Now that we know that our joints are a kind of hinges between our bones, we can imagine that a door that did not open or close for a long time will get stiff hinges – with a squeak as a result.
As mentioned earlier, it is also necessary to keep our cartilage alert and movement helps with this.
So keep moving is the message .
Not only for ‘lubricating’ the joints and maintaining the cartilage, but also for maintaining muscle mass.
The muscles that form around the joints and bones reduce the burden of the bones on the joints.
Finally, exercise will also make it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight, which in turn will ensure that your joints are not subjected to excessive stress.
Nutrition for healthy joints
Perhaps one of the most important factors: eat a healthy and varied diet and avoid excess weight.
The fact is that all excess kilos will cause an extra burden on the joints.
- Hereditary factors, the use of nicotine, alcohol and caffeine are not conducive to healthy joints. Don’t just focus on the joints, but ensure a healthy maintenance of muscle mass and bone mass. These provide relief for the joints. So also think of a sufficient calcium and vit D intake, but also a healthy nutritional status in general. Malnutrition is also detrimental here.
- Acid-forming foods, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, coffee, wine and dairy products, can cause acidification of the tendons and joints. We do not immediately advise against acid-forming food, but make sure that you also include enough base-forming food in order to maintain a good balance.
- Glucosamine is a body’s own building material of cartilage that occurs in almost all tissues of the body and is quickly used against osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, to date there is insufficient evidence of effectiveness. The effect of glucosamine would be to support the production of synovial fluid. (*)
- There are studies about collagen with found effectiveness. This protein has several functions in our body. The main ones take place at the skin, hair, bone and muscle level.
However, collagen helps (proven) to maintain the synovial fluid production of the cartilage between the joints. Our body produces collagen itself, but this production decreases with age.
At the skin level, we can see this through the formation of wrinkles and/or sagging skin.
At bone level this will mainly cause stiffness as the cartilage between the joints is less ‘nourished’. Painful joints can therefore use some extra collagen, especially if they often come under pressure. Think of intensive sports, but also overweight. (**)
- If you still suffer from joint pains, feel free to increase your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids .
These have anti-inflammatory properties, which is advisable for arthritis.
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna and shellfish are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Turmeric also has an anti-inflammatory effect, but in this case it also ensures good joint mobility. So feel free to do this more often through your dishes and don’t forget a pinch of black pepper. This enhances the effect of turmeric.