1 – Daily Movement
There is a phrase: you freeze, you seize, and there is some truth in this. The more you move, the less stiffness you will have, and the better your joints will be. We go into deeper detail about exercise and the forms of exercise further on in this newsletter, but what needs to be said here – is that you must move – however much a day. Movement helps with numerous things from immunity to mental wellbeing, as well as heart health, gut health, and our joint health.
Regular activity replenishes lubrication to the cartilage of the joint and reduces stiffness and pain. You should move about often during the day and avoid being sedentary and in one position for long periods of time.
Range of movement and flexibility are also improved because of exercise, reducing movement limitation. In a study with rheumatoid arthritis patients, joint lubrication is enhanced due to physical activity, further acting to promote the health of the patient’s joints. (1)
2 – Weight Management
The less weight on your body, the less strain on your joints, and the easier it is to move around. Excess weight can put stress on the joints in your legs and feet, such as your knees and ankles. Weight reduction would even help with your hips and back too.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, research has shown that losing as little as 11 pounds may improve your joint health and cut your risk of osteoarthritis of the knee by 50%. (2) Gaining weight also increases inflammation, which can contribute to joint problems.Adipose tissue in obesity is known to secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are associated with OA. (3)
If you are concerned that you may be overweight, perhaps speak to your doctor about the next best steps for you. Diet and exercise will be two key components to ensuring your body is healthy both inside and outside. The next point below will aid you in managing your weight, as well as keeping you healthy.
3 – Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
There is no single diet to cure arthritis, however, the most researched, anti-inflammatory, and healthful diet to help against symptoms is the Mediterranean Diet (MD). It is mainly plant-based and rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, beans, herbs, and spices (4). It is high in plant-based, vitamins, and minerals, plus omega-3 fatty acids.
Try to eat fatty fish two or three times a week and include omega-3-rich seeds – flaxseeds and chia seeds in your diet too. A systematic review performed in 2018 examined the effects of MD in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, concluding that MD has beneficial effects in people living with RA in reducing pain and improving physical function. (5).
A 2015 study reported that patients with osteoarthritis had a significant reduction in pain just two weeks after switching to a plant-based diet. (6) Stay hydrated too, as water is essential for transporting nutrients around your body, as well as lubricating and cushioning joints (7).
4 – Cut Down on Caffeine
Multiple molecular effects of caffeine suggest that it may promote bone loss. (8) According to one doctor, you lose about 6 milligrams of calcium for every 100 milligrams of caffeine ingested (9). The good news is that limiting caffeine intake to 300 milligrams a day while getting adequate calcium probably offsets any losses caffeine causes.
Studies of caffeine as a probable risk factor for osteoporosis have returned conflicting results. Caffeine consumption has been reported to decrease bone mineral density (BMD), increase the risk of hip fracture, and negatively influence calcium retention, but most of the studies reported no overall association between caffeine intake and BMD, fracture rate, or calcium metabolism (10, 26).
More studies are required, but 300 mg or less per day may be best, and this is equivalent to about three 230ml cups of coffee.
5 – Exercises: Strength, Flexibility and Range of Motion
Frequent exercise is a must if you want to keep your joints supple and pain-free. The best kinds of activities are those that do not put too much strain on your joints, like walking, cycling, swimming, and strength training.Warming up and cooling down before and after exercise helps to prepare your muscles and joints for physical activity, reducing the risk of injury and promoting better joint health.
Low impact exercises help flexibility and range of motion too, also excellent for helping your joints (11), which include yoga, Pilates, and Tai chi. In fact, a recent review of scientific literature concluded there is strong evidence showing that tai chi is beneficial for osteoarthritis and RA (12, 13). Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week if you can. Always warm up before you exercise, and afterwards why not treat yourself to a nice Epsom salt bath to relieve any post-workout aches and pains.
Regular physical activity can keep the muscles around affected joints strong, decrease bone loss and may help control joint swelling and pain.(14)
6 – Supplement with Anti-Inflammatory Compounds
Turmeric is a great natural anti-inflammatory, but it is the active compound in turmeric, called curcumin which is the most impactful. Compared with placebo, there appears to be a benefit of turmeric on knee OA pain and function in one review of studies. Based on a small number of studies the effects of turmeric are like that of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). (15) However, there are certain variables such as optimal dosing, frequency and formulation that remain unclear currently.(24, 25)
Additionally, our body sometimes needs a little help to absorb the nutrients, plant micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals we need, and with iüLabs high absorption technology SoluSmart®, this is made possible. Plus, plant-based foods are rich in prebiotics and probiotics, which promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut and improve digestion, reduce inflammation, as well as positively impacting your mental wellbeing and immunity (16).
In a recent study (2023), a group followed a 16-week lifestyle program based on a whole-food plant-based diet, physical activity, and stress management, which substantially decreased disease activity and improved metabolic status in people with RA with low–moderate disease activity. (17)
7 – Perfect Your Posture
Good posture is important in reducing joint pain and taking care of our joints. Be mindful of your posture during the day and even during sleep. Posture is how you hold your body when you stand, sit, or lie down.
Maintaining a good posture helps us develop the correct alignment between our bones and joints. Using muscles properly reduces the chances of getting degenerative arthritis and joint pain.It is important for you to maintain a good posture throughout the day, which if you sit at a desk, may not always be the easiest task.
If you are not keeping your spine’s natural alignment, there is additional stress on your spine which may lead to symptoms such as:neck pain, back pain, hip pain, headaches, and fatigue. As mentioned previously, not sitting for too long and mixing movement into your day will help. (18)
8 – Reduce Substance Use (Smoking and Drinking)
Many of the health problems caused by tobacco use are well known. Cigarette smoking causes heart disease, lung and esophageal cancer, and chronic lung disease. What people may not know is that several research studies have identified smoking as increasing the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures (23).Smokers are 1.5 times more likely to suffer injuries like bursitis or tendonitis, than non-smokers. Smoking is also associated with a higher risk of low back pain and rheumatoid arthritis. Drinking too much alcohol has also been linked to an increase in fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. It interferes with the balance of calcium in the body and the production of hormones, which have a protective effect on bone, and of vitamins, which we need to be able to absorb calcium. (19) Smoking also decreases the absorption of calcium too. Stop smoking, and reduce alcohol consumption, which may be easier said than done, so ask for support from your healthcare provider. (20)
9 – Be Aware of Stress Levels
Stress can reduce the number of natural killer cells or lymphocytes in the body that are needed to fight viruses. It can also trigger an inflammatory response from the immune system, which can be temporarily beneficial for fighting germs. However, if this inflammation continues and becomes chronic and widespread, it has the potential to contribute to chronic diseases. Chronic stress also produces higher-than-normal levels of the hormone cortisol, increasing inflammation and hampering the body’s anti-inflammatory response. Research in the role of stress and rheumatic diseases is unfolding. Rheumatology patients frequently note the occurrence of stressful or traumatic life events prior to the onset of their illness and/or a relationship between stress and disease flares. Moreover, stress can also induce symptoms such as pain via nonimmunological mechanisms (21). In whichever way(s) stress manifests in your life, it is crucial to be mindful of it and find ways to manage it.
10 – Choose the Right Footwear
It may sound simple enough, but sometimes fashionable footwear is not the best for your foot health, or joints either. Our feet have 52 bones, 66 joints and more than 200 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and are high-precision instruments that support our bodies, provide balance, and enable mobility. The right trainers, boots, flat supportive shoes or insoles can make all the difference. Boots with good arch support and sturdy structures, like hiking boots, are a good example. In one study, women who wore high heels had an increased risk of knee joint degeneration and knee osteoarthritis, or OA. Risk – as well as the frequency of low back pain – rose with the height of the heel, according to their study (22). There are other studies also noting the impact of poor shoe choices on joint health. Making the right footwear choices for your feet, just as eating and exercising well, can make a significant difference to your wellbeing.
How does Solusmart® work?
iüLabs uses a unique high absorption technology Solusmart® in combination with targeted mixes of highly effective ingredients letting you absorb more of the active polyphenol (powerful plant) compounds. You can expect to feel real benefits and experience meaningful changes in energy, immune health and joint health when you use iüLabs supplements.
Solusmart® helps your body to absorb much more of the goodness in our products than you would with a standard supplement like a tablet, sachet, or drink (around 5-20 times higher gut absorption and bioavailability).
Support your joints with iüMove
iüMove is an innovative supplement drink designed for anyone who experiences pain, stiffness and mobility problems in their joints. 36% expierenced less pain and less stiffness after 8 weeks of iüMove supplementation. Key ingredients:
- Alpha lipoic acid
- Boswellia serrata extract
- Hemp extract (THC free)
- Ginger extract
What Lucy had to say about iüMove:
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I know the benefits of keeping inflammation at bay and I now know that iüMove does that for me (stiffness and pain have pretty much totally disappeared). I may have a few more wrinkles and grey hairs on the outside, but on the inside, I know that I am probably younger than I was 5 years ago! iüMove really is an insurance policy for me and my well-being. I won’t stop taking it!”