You can protect your bones and have strong joints at any age. Of course, in our earlier ages barely anything hurts (although thanks to our diet, that is changing more and more), but it is after we cross the 50-year-old barrier that our aches and pains begin. We notice a little pain in our knees when standing up for example, but we can protect our bones and joints and the sooner we start, the stronger both will be.
As you get older, your bones and joints can become weaker. This leads to problems with osteoporosis, bone fractures, and painful arthritis. But this isn’t a normal part of aging and there’s much you can do to reverse it.
Aging and Your Bones and Joints
Problems with bone density tend to be more prevalent in women than in men. This is a result of hormonal changes that occur during menopause. The good news is that there are many things you can do to prevent this from occurring.
Osteoarthritis is also common with aging. As you get older, the cartilage in your joints can become thinner and eventually bone can rub against bone. While arthritis is common, there are things you can do to prevent it.
Many people think that having bone and joint problems is just something you have to deal with as you get older. But it’s not inevitable or a normal part of aging. In fact, you can do much to reverse these issues and prevent them.
Lifestyle Changes to Reverse Bone and Joint Problems
Many of the problems with bone loss and arthritis can be linked to lifestyle habits. With just a few simple changes you can reverse these issues for strong bones and pain-free joints.
Before making any changes to your lifestyle, for example adding exercise to your list of activities, please consult your doctor and make sure you are ready for this new addition or additions. Always start slowly, and adjust other changes accordingly, for example if you decide to exercise make sure you are making changes to your diet to add more calories and avoid your body cannibalizing muscles or bones to satisfy any new need.
Exercise is probably the single most important habit you can develop to reverse bone loss and arthritis. Weight bearing exercise is a great way, especially for women, to increase bone density.
As your muscles pull on your bones, your bones are stimulated to grow. Weight bearing exercise could be as simple as walking for the lower body and lifting light weights for the upper body. Yoga is a perfect example of a low-impact exercise that will increase your flexibility.
If you suffer from arthritis, moving actually helps reduce pain in your joints and helps you have more flexibility. Of course, if you’re experiencing a lot of joint pain, it can be difficult to feel like exercising.
With arthritis, there are some exercises that are easier to begin with such as water exercise and swimming. You can also take short walks until you’re feeling less pain.
2. Calcium and Magnesium
Calcium and magnesium supplements can help your bones become stronger. As you get older, calcium can leech from your bones and cause them to become weak.
Taking calcium supplements can reverse this situation and help your bones regain strength and density. This becomes particularly important after menopause for women.
3. Improve Heart Health
We’ll talk more in detail about heart health later. But it’s important to understand that when you have poor circulation, your risk of arthritis increases.
That’s because blood isn’t able to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the bones and connective tissues to repair and renew the tissues. When you work to keep your heart and circulation healthy, you’ll be able to reverse arthritis.
4. Maintain an Ideal Weight
People who are underweight are actually at greater risk of having low bone density. But if you’re overweight, you’re more likely to have joint pain and problems with arthritis.
The best solution is somewhere in the middle at an ideal weight. Practicing good diet and exercise habits can help you to maintain a healthy weight that both keeps your bones strong and reduces joint problems.
5. Add Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids help to sooth inflammation in the body, which can give relief for arthritis. You can get them from taking fish oil supplements and eating flaxseeds.
6. Glucosamine Chondroitin
There are many supplements on the market that contain glucosamine chondroitin. This is a blend of supplements that have been shown to help regenerate cartilage in the joints.
As you age, adding this supplement to your diet can help prevent arthritis and also reverse problems you’re already experiencing. You’ll have more cushion in your joints, less inflammation, more mobility, and less pain.
7. Follow an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Inflammation in the body can be linked to dietary choices. In general, refined sugars, white flour, and processed foods lead to inflammation in the body while plants, healthy oils, and lean proteins prevent inflammation.
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition, so eating a diet aimed at reducing inflammation all over the body can help reverse arthritis symptoms.
8. Medical Options
The best choice for reversing bone and joint problems is to improve your lifestyle for long-term good health. But if you’re further down the road with aging, these measures may not be enough.
There are medical treatment options that work to reverse these problems so that you can reduce your risk of breaks, falls, and arthritis pain. It’s important to combine medical treatment with an improved lifestyle for the best results.
9. Anti-inflammatory Drugs
There are medications that are designed to reduce inflammation in the body and relieve pain. However, they do carry some side effects – especially if they’re used long-term.
There are non-steroid and steroid classifications of drugs. Steroids are stronger and are used more selectively.
If you’re struggling with osteoporosis, there are medications such as Boniva and Fosamax that are designed to reverse bone loss. These medications tend to have side effects, especially for the digestive system.
11. Hormone Replacement Therapy
Because osteoporosis is associated with hormone changes that lead to bone loss, women who take hormone replacement therapy have a reduced risk of osteoporosis.
For men, osteoporosis might be connected to lower testosterone levels that occur with aging. Testosterone replacement can also assist with reducing problems related to bone loss for men.
12. Joint Replacement Surgery
In severe cases of arthritis that can’t be reversed through lifestyle or mediations, joint replacement surgery is an option. This removes the deteriorated bone and replaces it with an artificial joint.
Joint replacement surgery is most common for the hips and knees. This surgery does require an extended recovery time but can provide relief from pain and better mobility in your senior years.
Like with many ailments related to our body, the sooner we take care of them, the better we will feel in the long run. Following the correct diet, taking your minerals and vitamins and keeping an active lifestyle, will help against bones and joints deterioration.