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Bone up on your Bone Health!

Last month we looked at lifestyle advice for general pain. If you missed it, you can catch up HERE

Today we're looking at general lifestyle advice for bone and joint care

There can be many reasons for joint pain. Arthritis and inflammation can hinder joint action and the uneven muscle usage caused by this a big cause of joint pain which can lead to joint replacement. Changes to the cushioning of the joint capsules, our tendons and our ligaments as we age can affect our joints. Changes to bone density during menopause and beyond further affect our bone health.

As there are so many causes and types of joint pain, the lifestyle advice is pretty general and all encompassing but the key take homes are:

  • Lose/maintain weight.

  • Aim to be active on a daily basis.

  • Perform mobility exercises and stretches daily.

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet to keep your body healthy and minimise inflammation.

HERE'S THE LINK to the Lifestyle Advice Sheet on bone and joint care.

I've got a few extras for you on this subject as well, though.

Firstly, there is a strong evidence base for using Pilates to manage bone and joint conditions.

In the paper, "The Pilates method in the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders: a systematic review", 14 separate studies were reviewed which indicated that "Pilates can be effective both for the treatment of conditions such as scoliosis, back pain, ankylosing spondylitis and breast cancer, and for preventing injuries in adults, elderly people and athletes".

In a study published by the National Library of Medicine, it was found that, "As clinical Pilates training positively effects kinesiophobia, pain, functional status and quality of life, it can be recommended to osteoporosis patients, as a safe exercise model."

Furthermore, another study detailed on the same site concluded that, "Pilates Exercise is effective to increase BMD (Bone mineral density); QOL (Quality of Life) and walking distance and also beneficial to relieve pain. Physiotherapist can use Pilates Exercises for the subjects with osteoporosis..."

While bone and joint pain seems like an inevitability with age, it can yet be managed with guided activity. Taking time for regular Pilates practice, either as part of your weekly social agenda or with a prescribed program, can balance uneven musculature, reduce the risk of injury, manage pain and allow you to enjoy more of your favourite active pursuits. If you haven't tried Pilates yet, CLICK HERE to sign up for a free online class today.

As part of a long term project to encourage self-care I have also designed a Home-Study Bone Density course for people who would like to get ahead of age-related bone health changes. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Urgh! The image below shows the difference between a healthy knee joint and one with arthritis. How do yours feel in the morning?


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