Millions of people are affected by joint pain or joint disease in the form of arthritis. Anyone can develop arthritis at any age in life. There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis, but the most common type is osteoarthritis, a degenerative arthritis.
Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage, the cushion that surrounds and protects the end of the bones, begin to wear away and the bones begin to rub against one another, causing pain and swelling of the joints. This often develops on weight bearing joints, such as the hips or knees, but it is also common to develop it in the wrists, hands, fingers, neck, or ankles as well. When osteoarthritis occurs, you may experience joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and a decrease in mobility and range of motion of the affected joint. Over time the joints lose their strength and the pain can become chronic, limiting daily activities and causing lack of restorative sleep at night.
Although anyone can develop osteoarthritis, there are some additional risk factors that can increase your chances:
When the joint symptoms are mild or moderate, there are some things that you can do to help reduce and manage the pain:
There is no cure for Osteoarthritis, but you can do things to help reduce and alleviate some of the pain that is associated with it, as well as help keep your mobility and range of motion of the affected joints. Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle and staying physically active and allowing rest time is very important. Physical therapy can help give you exercises and stretches to do to keep you moving. Massage therapy is also a great way to reduce pain, anxiety, and increase your range of motion and quality of sleep in conjunction of other treatments. If you are starting to experience joint pain and stiffness, consult with your doctor to determine if you may be developing a form of arthritis and what step you can take to reduce the effects of it.
Staying healthy is always on the top of everyone’s mind. Health and nutrition is a way of keeping our bodies and minds staying strong. A healthy, well-balanced diet can do wonders on our longevity and over all wellbeing. Dietary trends may change, but one thing that seems to stay constant is the fact the Omega-3s are great for your health, in more ways than one.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids may sound like they may not be good for you, but they are one of the best forms of “fats” that you can consume. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential fats that our body does not produce on its own, therefore, we need to make sure we add them into our diets to consume.
Omega-3s are actually broken down into 3 types; Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). ALA is found in vegetable oils, nuts (especially walnuts), flaxseed, leafy vegetables, and in grass-fed animals. EPA and DHA are best found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerels, and sardines.
Since our bodies are unable to produce these fatty acids on their own, it is important to consume foods that are high in Omega-3s or to take supplements when needed. There are plenty of health benefits when you regularly add Omega-3s into your diet. Some of these top reasons are:
With so many health benefits to Omega-3s, most people could benefit from making sure that they are getting enough in their diets. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist. They can help you determine how much you should be consuming and give you a list of other food sources as well.
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.