5 Effective Ways To Reduce Your Risk of Arthritis Before It’s Too Late

5 Effective Ways to reduce Your Risk of Arthritis

If you feel pain and inflammation in your joints, you may be one of six million Canadians (that’s one in five) suffering from arthritis. There are over 100 different types of arthritis. Risk factors of developing arthritis include genetics, age, sex, obesity or previous injuries. The good news is that there are proactive steps you can take to reduce this risk before it begins. Read on to discover five effective ways to reduce your risk of arthritis before it’s too late.

Stretch & Exercise to Maintain a Healthy Weight

Regular exercise and maintaining control over your weight are important steps toward reducing your risk of arthritis. This is because the extra weight you may be carrying around can put extra pressure on your hips, knees and joints. Each pound of weight you gain puts an additional four pounds of strain on your knees and six times the pressure on your hip joints. The added pressure on your joints causes the breakdown of cartilage.

Also important to note is that when you gain weight, the production of a protein called cytokine also increases. Cytokines are known for speeding up the breakdown of precious cartilage. These problematic proteins are linked to the inflammation seen in rheumatoid arthritis, causing organ and joint damage.

Daily low-impact exercises, such as swimming, cycling or walking, can help reduce your risk of arthritis. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of activity at least five times per week. This exercise will help strengthen the muscles attached to your joints, which act as support for your hips & knees. Gentle stretching is also a beneficial way to reduce your risk of arthritis. Stretching keeps you limber and increases your range of motion.

Avoid Injuries

Speaking of exercise, you should be careful not to overdo it. When you injure a joint, that joint is immediately at a higher risk of developing arthritis compared to a healthy joint. Take care when exercising or playing sports by protecting yourself with the right safety equipment. Overuse of joints can also create “wear and tear” process that contribute to the most common form of arthritis called osteoarthritis.

Quit Smoking

It’s common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health. But did you realize that smoking can increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis? This is because smoking causes problems with breathing and your blood circulation, which can limit your ability to exercise and to have blood pumping through your joints properly, and therefore increases your risk of developing arthritis. Exercise helps maintain flexibility in your joints and strengthen the muscles that support your joints.

Tobacco smoke also causes your body to produce higher quantity of highly-damaging cytokines which, as mentioned before, can cause organ and joint damage.

Introduce Fish Into Your Diet

If you don’t eat fish (at least twice weekly), it’s a great way to introduce omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. According to Arthritis Society Canada, one of the many benefits of omega-3s is that they are You can find omega-3s in fatty fish such as anchovies, salmon, bluefin tuna, striped bass, whitefish, mackerel, black cod and herring.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids may also lower blood pressure and even slow down the buildup of plaque in your arteries, leading to a lower chance of heart attack or stroke.

Keep Your Blood Sugar In-Check

High blood sugar can lead to diabetes, which causes inflammation and joint pain in  multiple ways. Inflammation from diabetes leads to the deterioration of irreplaceable cartilage. If your diabetes is uncontrolled, it can seriously affect your skeleton & muscles leading to nerve damage, joint pain and arthritis. High blood sugar can also stiffen cartilage and make your joints more sensitive to stress & strain.                     

If you experience joint pain and inflammation, check out this arthritis risk factor assessment tool on the Arthritis Society Canada website to discover what type of arthritis you may be at risk of developing. As always, you should book an appointment with your doctor to discuss any health concerns you may have. Ask your doctor about anti-inflammatory supplements that may help your joint pain & inflammation.

Maintaining Healthy, Pain-Free Joints with Genuwell Joint Health

Maintaining Healthy, Pain-Free Joints - Genuwell Joint Health - Kondor Pharma

In this post we discuss how to maintain healthy, pain-free joints.

Do you have pain in your fingers, wrists, knees, elbows, or lower back? These are common concerns for many adults, and it all has to do with joint health.

Read on to learn tips on how to keep your joints healthy, along with a primer on joint anatomy plus the most common joint diseases you may want to learn more about.

What Do Healthy Joints Look Like?

From the moment we wake up in the morning to when we are engaging in physical activities during the day, we are constantly using our joints.

We usually don’t think about overusing our joints until a problem (like pain, loss of flexion, swelling, and more) arises due to arthritis, torn ligaments (such as ACL or MCL), and/or other overuse injuries.

Before we dive into joint issues, let’s look at some joint anatomy.

A joint is where two or more bones in the body meet and allow for movement. Some key structures included in a joint are below:

Photo credit: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/00/ca/da/00cada004beec74f88380f1efdf6e5bb.jpg

  • Cartilage is found at the end surfaces of the bones and provides a natural cushioning to prevent friction and the bones from rubbing against each other.
  • Synovial fluid is a natural lubricant for the joint to reduce friction. This is encased in the synovial membrane which is further encased in the joint capsule.
  • Joint capsule provides additional stability and support for the joint and allows for reduced friction as well.
  • Ligaments connect bone to bone and is made of connective tissue.
  • Tendons (not pictured) connect muscle to bone and is made of connective tissue.

All About Arthritis

You have likely heard of or experienced arthritis. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis affects over 350 million people in the world today and is known as the ‘wear and tear’ type of arthritis. It commonly presents during middle age and progresses with time. Osteoarthritis involves the cartilage thinning and wearing away due to the natural aging process, wear and tear, and inflammation. This is typically the beginning of the symptoms that we commonly see with osteoarthritis including stiffness, pain, weakness, and swelling.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that can affect the entire body (not just limited to the joints) and can affect anyone at any age. In this disease, the body’s immune system starts to attack its own healthy tissues. Specifically, the joint space around the membrane, also known as the synovial membrane, is attacked and destroyed.

What are Some Similarities Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have some common features including:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Clicking and grinding of the bones when you move
  • Worsening in cold, damp, and moist environments

How are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis Different?

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis also have some differing features including:

  • Symmetry – Osteoarthritis is not symmetric in nature (one particular joint can be affected and that can be limited to one side of the body). Rheumatoid arthritis usually occurs symmetrically. If one elbow is affected, the other likely is too. That is seen throughout the condition.
  • Progression – Because osteoarthritis is a deteriorating disease, it can come on and progress slowly. Rheumatoid arthritis can come on suddenly and go into remission in waves.

To illustrate, the diagram above shows three joints. The first joint (left) is a healthy joint, with the synovial fluid (dark blue) and cartilage (light blue) intact. The second joint pictured (middle) represents a joint with osteoarthritis. You can see the cartilage has been worn down and thinned to the point that the bones are now rubbing together. There is no longer any protection between the bones, and this can cause great pain and discomfort.  Finally, the third joint shown in the photo (right) represents a joint with rheumatoid arthritis. Swelling and inflammation can be seen in this joint, as the immune system has attacked the healthy synovial membrane tissues.

Ways to Maintain Healthy, Pain-Free Joints

The good news is that there are things you can do each day to build healthy, pain-free joints and prevent joint issues from happening in the first place.

Here are three tips to help keep your joints feeling and functioning at their best.

  1. Be active and stay active – You’ve heard it before, but it is so important to be active and engage in physical activity whenever possible. Staying mobile ultimately reduces stiffness and pain around joints. Whether it’s on your own, or with the help of physical therapists and trainers, it is important to be active whenever you can. Not sure how which activities to do? Try swimming! It allows you to practice mobility and flexibility without applying much pressure on the joints.
  2. Check your diet – Are you eating processed foods that make inflammation in the body worse? Instead, try consuming more anti-inflammatory foods like those high in omega-3 fatty acids such as chia seeds, flax seeds, and avocados. Also, double check that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy joints and bones. As you may know, calcium and vitamin D are great for bone and joint health.
  3. Try herbal medicine – Herbs are a powerful solution to managing many diseases. Boswellia is one of those ingredients known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Boswellia use dates back thousands of years, being used in India, North Africa, and many parts of the Middle East.

More recently, medical research has begun to reveal its full potential and extensive anti-inflammatory properties as well. This herb has particular impact on the 5-LOX enzyme involved in inflammatory pathways that produces pro-inflammatory leukotrienes.

Genuwell Joint HealthGenuwell Joint Health - Kondor Pharma

Boswellia is available in supplement form. Our joint health formulation, Genuwell, is a natural health product that helps with joint health and aims to reduce symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. The overall benefits include reduction of pain and swelling, and improvement of joint function.

In a clinical study by Kimmatkar, N. et al, patients given boswellia for 8 weeks reported a decrease in knee pain and joint swelling along with an increase in knee flexibility and walking distance.

Genuwell contains a highly effective form of boswellia (proprietary name K-Vie™) shown to reduce inflammation in multiple inflammatory conditions like traumatic brain injuries and osteoarthritis. Learn more about Genuwell.

Don’t let Joint Issues Ruin Your Physical Abilities, Pick the Best Supplements For Joints

Best Supplements For Joints

Joint disease is a relatively common health issue. If you are over 30, an athlete, and/or a person at risk of inflammatory joint disease, you often talk about finding the best supplements for joints to improve joint health and joint issues. If you do not want to take medication, you can boost your diet with natural supplements, such as Genuwell™ for Joint Health as well as make certain lifestyle changes.

Factors Affecting Joint Health

Aging, injury, and overuse may lead to worn cartilage, weakened joints, and joint disease. This often results in loss of flexibility, stiffness, pain, and inflammation. The knee, hip, hand, shoulder, and spinal joints are more often affected. They may become stiff due to loss of fluid in the tissue or loss of tissue elasticity.
Once they become stiff, you may experience trouble walking, bending, or twisting, or loss of mobility. This can interfere with daily activities and your overall quality of life.
If you have family members who suffer from joint problems, your genes might put you more at risk of developing similar joint discomfort, pain and swelling now or in the future. You may wonder if the best supplements for joints can help you prevent, delay or reduce those symptoms.

Common Joint Diseases

Arthritis is the most common form of joint disease and it can happen to anyone. Common types of arthritis include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): RA is a chronic, autoimmune disease that causes joint and tissue inflammation. It is more common in middle age but can happen at any age. Genetics is a major risk factor and there is a 60% chance of inheriting the disease if your parents carry this bad gene. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints in the hand, wrist, or feet, especially in the mornings.
  • Osteoarthritis (OA): OA is the most common form of arthritis, and symptoms appear around middle age. It happens when the cartilage between two joints wears down. This makes the bones rub together, resulting in stiffness, swelling, and pain.

Gout: Gout is a painful, complex form of inflammatory arthritis that can affect anyone. In general, it affects one joint at a time and most often the big toe and is due to a build-up of uric acid crystals in the joint. The symptoms are sudden and severe episodes of tenderness, pain, swelling and redness in the affected area.

There are other inflammatory disorders such as psoriatic arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus that can also lead to chronic arthritis and joint pain.
Consider asking your doctor about the best supplements for joints if you are at risk of inflammatory joint disease.

Choosing the Right Joint Health Option

Acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, are first-line treatments for joint inflammation and pain. But these medications are not meant to be taken long-term due to harmful side effects.
There are also natural or herbal supplements for joint and arthritis such as glucosamine, omega-3, chondroitin, and Genuwell™. These supplements are used to support joint health, reduce the rate of cartilage degradation and/or provide anti-inflammatory effects. These supplements are generally well tolerated and more adapted for chronic use.
Genuwell™ is a formulated Boswellia serrata extract (BSE). Boswellia has been clinically tested on OA patients and proven to reduce osteoarthritis symptoms, such as knee pain and swelling, and improve joint function. Boswellia actively reduces the level of enzymes causing both inflammation and pain.

Joint Health Tips

You can maintain strong healthy joints by:

  • Staying active but balancing activity and rest
  • Having a healthy weight
  • Eating foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, and anti-inflammatory compounds
  • Doing low-impact exercises such as yoga or Tai-Chi
  • Practicing proper body mechanics
  • Taking the best supplements for joints

Joint Health Matters at Kondor Pharma

If you are interested in learning more about Genuwell™ for Joint Health, you can find more information about this approved natural health product on the Kondor Pharma website. You can also contact us at +1-800-892-6981.