May is Arthritis Awareness Month—Get a Move On!
We tend to think of arthritis as an age-related disease, affecting grandma or grandpa but not reaching the general population. That is, unless you already have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis at a relatively young age! The truth is, arthritis can strike at virtually any age and can be a chronic condition that plagues the body throughout life. Advances are constantly being made in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the more than 100 forms of arthritis, through the support and research of such organizations as the Arthritis Foundation. Unfortunately however, a cure for arthritis hasn’t been discovered. So, for those affected by the disease, proper maintenance and treatment take center stage. As for those of us not yet struck by the debilitating symptoms of arthritis, prevention holds the key to a pain-free life in later years.
What is arthritis and how can it be prevented?
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of the disease, affecting some 27 million Americans. OA is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, causing pain, stiffness and limitation of movement. Rheumatoid arthritis or RA, is an autoimmune disease. For unknown reasons in RA patients, the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues, chief among those tissues being the lining of the joints, called the synovium. Fluid builds up in the joints and causes pain and inflammation throughout the body. Both are considered to be chronic conditions, as again, there is no “cure”. Rather, arthritis sufferers must do their best to manage symptoms by taking joint supplements, anti-inflammatory medications, exercising regularly and keeping the extra weight off the joints.
As stated, arthritis can strike at any age. Juvenile arthritis is one of the most common chronic childhood conditions, occurring nearly as often as insulin-dependent juvenile diabetes! In fact, 300,000 children in the US are suffering from this chronic ailment! It’s hard to imagine a child being plagued with such a life-long painful condition but it does occur.
Prevention starts with regular movement (meaning exercise), eating a proper diet and by feeding the joints the nutrients they need to stay healthy. The Arthritis Foundation believes that, “Moving is the best medicine”, for prevention and treatment of arthritis. Getting started and maintaining a regular exercise program is one of the best ways to fight against OA. As with any exercise regimen, you should start slowly with an activity you enjoy, like walking, and progress to a level your body can tolerate. Just don’t overdo it right out of the gates!
Keeping the joints moving can burn those unwanted pounds as well. Obesity is an epidemic in America and being overweight ruins joints in the lower extremities. The hips, knees and ankles take the whole weight of the body as we walk, run or even stand. Over the long haul, the extra weight flattens and grinds away at the cartilage, ligaments and tendons in the joints, reducing movement to bone-on-bone contact. As such, excessive weight just exacerbates the natural wear and tear of cartilage, symptomatic of OA.
Healthcare professionals have long recommended supplements for joint health including the proven components, glucosamine and chondroitin. Vita Logic Joint Formula supplies these essential ingredients for joint health along with a third component, MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane. Glucosamine penetrates the joints and serves as a building block for regeneration of connective tissues. Chondroitin nourishes and encourages cartilage reformation in the joints, while MSM provides for better range of motion and ease of movement. Together, these three joint supplement ingredients combine to reduce pain and inflammation and make it easier to get out there and be yourself!
Use this month to heighten your awareness of the symptoms of arthritis and use this opportunity to get a move on! At least in the case of OA, “Moving is the best medicine”–and we can all take part in that!