70 million. That’s the number of Americans with joint issues, but that number is expected to jump even higher as Baby Boomers age. Estimates indicate that by the year 2030, 40% of American adults will have unhealthy joints.
That could mean a lot of discomfort—for joints and for pocketbooks, too. Currently, joint unhealth tops more than $128 billion a year in lost earnings and in medical care.
The truth is that our body, particularly our joints, will tell us when it’s had enough—no matter if it’s from lugging kids around or gardening in your backyard. The cause doesn’t matter so much. Your body sure feels it, though!
In order to lessen the occurrence of these joint episodes, you need to be aware of what Dale Anderson, M.D., calls your “trouble zones.” Anderson is the coordinator of the Minnesota Act Now Project in Minneapolis and the author of Muscle Pain Relief in 90 Seconds.
Anderson says that men and women over 60 tend to be most prone to discomfort in their lower joints such as the hips, knees, ankles and feet. Those types of temporary aches are associated with the normal aging process. He suggests taking care to protect and pamper those areas, noting that there are ways to help the body deal with occasional pains.
A first line of defense is RICE—an acronym for rest, ice, compression and elevation. RICE is a good start, says William Pesanelli, a physical therapist and director of Boston University’s rehabilitation services.
Interestingly enough, there are also some plant-based enzymes that may support joint health, too. A natural enzyme formulation of bromelain (pineapple extract) and papain (papaya extract), natural pancreatic enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin and the antioxidant flavonoid rutin join forces to help promote joint health as well as the temporary natural relief from everyday aches and pains.
In fact, one of these formulations is practically synonymous with healthy inflammation—and has held that honor for over 40 years. It also has the backing of over 160 clinical trials and more than 10,000 people who have consistently demonstrated its effectiveness for maintaining joint and muscle health. It's also known for supporting the body’s natural response to inflammation caused by rigorous movement and exercise.
Simply put, it’s effective and can help people stay active and mobile. That’s good news for those of us who want to get the most out of life and who refuse to be sidelined. But that’s only one step many people are taking for joint health. Other steps—literally—are also important.
Weight management and exercise, for example, can play a significant role in supporting joint health, too. Dr. Patience White, chief public health officer at the Arthritis Foundation, says, “If you lose as little as 10 pounds, you can decrease pain in the knees and hips by 50%. With exercise, you can decrease progression of joint unhealth.” Walking, by the way, can be one of the best steps to take for healthy joints.
Diet is important as well. Healthy proteins, fats—such as olive oil and omega-3s—and carbs from raw fruits and vegetables can help support a healthy weight and healthy joints.
Joint health—it’s a joint venture many are undertaking.