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How to protect against hip and joint pain

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Hips and knees are among the most active joints in your body. They support your weight when you’re standing; they make it possible to bend down and tie your shoe laces, walk up the stairs, and turn your body to make a great shot on the golf course. When you think of all that your knees and hips help you do, it’s not surprising that they’re prone to injuries and other painful problems.

Knees and hips are commonly involved in sports injuries such as, a torn ligament or meniscus [a crescent shaped structure that protects the joint] and they are a common site of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It makes me cringe at times when I see footballers skidding across the turf on their knees in celebration after scoring a goal. What damage they are doing is anyone’s guess, but something that will probably come to haunt them in later years – and they may well join the list of footballers who can do little more than hirple around on worn-out joints. I have often written about Tiger Woods and the way that he used to rotate his spine in a very fast turn to generate the power that he needed to fire his golf-balls far down the fairway. I always thought that this was completely unnatural – and of course I now sadly read that his spine, hips and knees are in such poor condition that he may never play again. Rugby Union is my game and while I was fortunate in my playing career never to suffer any serious injuries, today the sport is so fast and the impacts so great that I can see all sorts of problems being stored up in the future for these brave boys.

So what can we do to help?
The best ways to relieve knee and hip pain whether you’ve strained a muscle tore a tendon, or begun suffering the aches of osteoarthritis is first of all to look at yourself.

Replacement: In North America every year, some 400,000 people have one or more hips or knees replaced. In the UK the figure is huge too. If you are a farmer or a carpenter or someone who has to do physical work, then often there is no choice. Although the human body has the capacity to repair itself, our joints are surprisingly fragile. When the cushions between the joints (cartilage) begin the wear away, we are in trouble – as simply stated, there is no way that we can replace it - although medicine makes leaps and bounds on things like this every year. However, this is painful and can be very debilitating, while I know of many people who have had to have the operation more than once on the same joint simply because it was not a success in the first place. Of course there exceptions to the rule and there are others who have been operated on with success.

Age: The problem gets bigger as more of us live longer – while many of us sadly being overweight place extra strain on joints that may already be on their last legs. So for your health’s sake – try and lose weight if you can. Carrying around all those extra pounds when you walk is like carrying an extra person on your shoulders. For reasons not well understood, weight is more of a risk factor for women than men. But all of us, no matter the gender would benefit by eating healthily and leaving aside the potato crisps and other fattening foods that are some seductively advertised by manufacturers, who care only about their profits.

Sports: Some of the people in my village are out running most days of the week – and the joints never get a rest. So my advice here would be to alternate with a bit of swimming (where the whole of the body weight is supported in the water), get on a bicycle, or try tai chi (which is especially gentle and very good for us as we get older).

Bravery: Don’t be a week-end warrior. Try to avoid injury if you practice a contact sport. Easier said than done, but it is likely that people who suffer with ligament damage have a 50% more chance of arthritis in later life.

Muscle Condition: Keep your muscles in good condition. After all there are approximately 635 muscles in the human body. So the better that we look after them by keeping fit (walking is the best exercise in the world), the more we can support the joints between the bones. Of course it is important to warm up before sport and warm down after.

Supplements: I am sorry but for the life of me, I cannot see one piece of evidence that supports the theory that spending money on supplements such as glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin has any value. There is more vitamin C in a Kiwi Fruit than you will find any pill- anywhere. So my advice is to save your money. Eat the five a day fruit and veg, cut out sugar, reduce alcohol and realise how much better we can be in the process.

Joint-Ease and Muscle-Ease: The first is for joint-pain (if you have it) and protect against it (if you don’t) and the second is for general muscle pain problems and applied before sport it will help reduce the risk of pulled muscles and hamstrings. The chemistry of essential oils – the active ingredients in every product we produce, is too big a subject to write about in the this short paper, however there are many books that write about the hundreds of formulas, and applications for plant-based therapeutic essential oils that can help (and heal) all sorts of sports injuries and ailments, never mind help things such as pregnancy and respiratory conditions and even how to home-care in a very natural way. This is a totally natural way of looking after the body and given the arthritic spine that the writer suffers with, a daily application of Joint-Ease along the spine and Muscle-Ease generally over the muscles at the base of the spine and the tops of the backs of the legs, (hamstrings) is the regime that saves this old body from seizing up altogether.

Get in touch: as with everything that I write, I have always more to say on every subject and a wealth of knowledge to back it up, so if you have a health issue that particularly bothers you, then don’t be afraid to write (jim@moss-grove.co.uk) and I will be pleased to do what I can to help.

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This blog is written by Jim Steele

The founder of Moss-Grove Natural Products.
To find out more about our natural product range, click here.