I didn’t sleep very well the other night.
My lower back was very stiff and sore and so I tossed and turned quite a bit trying to get comfortable.
As I have gotten older my lower back plays me up a bit more. Maybe I am more aware of it?
Anyhow, this topic comes up a lot with my clients so I thought I would talk a bit about Joint Stiffness.
With me I usually know what the reasons are for my stiffness. And depending what kind of stiffness it is, the reason changes.
The other night I am sure it was due to dehydration, lack of movement the day before and eating to much of the wrong foods.
The day before I attended a talk/seminar all day which meant a lot of sitting. I also didn’t drink as much water as I normally would because I didn’t want to get up every five minutes and have to go to the loo, and my diet wasn’t fantastic. Sandwich and crisps for lunch and when I got home I nibbled on dips and doritos and still didn’t drink enough water. On top of all that, the lovely weather we have been having here in Lincolnshire took a turn for the worse. Cold and Damp!
Let’s start with dehydration.
The cartilage in our joints needs to be kept lubricated for cushioning and shock absorption. Many nutrients help this cartilage and it also needs to be filled with fluid.
As we age, the ability to keep our joints hydrated lessens. Taking joint-supportive nutrients will help, but you also need to keep your joints hydrated.
At first, increasing the amount of water you drink may not seem like its doing much other than making you go to the loo more often, but as the cartilage swells again and regains its ability to retain fluid, that urge will subside. A bit like watering a plant that has completely dried up. It takes a few times watering before the soil rehydrates and retains the much-needed water.
Lack of movement
My Mum is a very strong and fit 75-year-old lady. She puts it down to physically working hard on the farm every day. She hates it if she can’t get outside daily to do something physical, and when I mean physical I mean lugging bales of hay and walking miles up and down hills. She says that if she was to stop she would rust! There is something to that.
Movement is one of the essential keys to living life.
With movement comes a natural warming of the muscles and connective tissue. As the muscles are used, heat is created which keeps the tissues warm and in a flexible state.
When you are inactive, the heat doesn’t happen and the muscles begin to harden and the connective tissue glues together. This is when as my mum says, “you begin to rust”.
Often those who allow their muscles to harden and lose their flexibility begin to lose hope that they will ever return to the suppleness of their youth.
Whilst we can’t turn back the years there is a lot we can do to move our bodies to maintain our optimal health. Even if that is going for a walk or doing 10 minutes stretching every morning or evening.
So back to the other day. I sat on my bum way too long during the day and other than having a short 15-minute walk at lunchtime, that was it. I didn’t do any stretching, nothing. That didn’t bode well. I am finding that the older I am getting the more movement I need to do. I feel it straight away. That stiffness, you know what I mean!
Get up and go for a walk.
Being kind to your digestion
I usually know when I have not been kind to my digestive system. My system is quite sensitive so I can only go so far and then I get warning signs to slow down and usually lighten things up.
One of them is joint stiffness.
In Ayurveda, stiffness in the joints is sometimes a result of too many toxins in the body. Of course, Ayurveda believes that toxins are due to compromised digestion. This then creates stiffness and heaviness in the joints and if that stays there for a long time, the joints can become swollen and painful.
Yesterday I had quite a heavy diet. Bread, crisps (a lot of them) and a dip made from dairy. And to top it all off we have been having cold, damp weather which doesn’t help either. Of course, this toxic build up doesn’t just happen overnight, it has been slowly accumulating and reflects the heavy diet I have been eating. I have been feeling it.
Change of season issues
In the winter, we tend to eat more. Food is fuel for our metabolism to keep us at normal body temperature. Have you ever felt cold if you have missed a meal?
This increase of heavier winter food can lead to the build-up of toxins. Sluggishness, extra pounds, poor sleep? Sound familiar?
This is also a funny time of the year. Sunlight is slowly returning. A warm day or two might plague you with congestion and upper respiratory conditions. It’s the warm days that tend to make you sick. After battling through the cold all winter, your body is unprepared for the sudden rise in temperature. As your layer of winter insulation begins to melt, it enriches your blood which tends to congests your circulatory system. This then leaves you vulnerable to Kapha disorders like respiratory congestion, sinus infections, and in my case, joint stiffness.
So, what am I going to do?
- Lighten up my diet with warm, light, drier foods. Spiced cooked apples for breakfast, Kitchari for lunch and then maybe a nourishing soup for dinner. No CRISPS!!!
- Do more exercise. For me this means walking. If the sun is shining then I’ll be outside, if it’s not then off to the gym I go. And of course, Gardening!
- Drink Kapha Tea. This tea is very invigorating. It has chilli in it so it is quite spicy. I love it.
- One supplement that I swear by for Joint Stiffness and pain is MSM Vital. MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a sulphur containing compound that is used to improve immune function, lower inflammation and help restore healthy bodily tissue.
I have been taking it a long time in different forms.
This MSM product is very special.
Firstly, its organic. All Amaiva products are.
There are no anti-bulking agents in this product. You will be hard pressed to find another capsule/tablet of the same quality. It is processed at low temperatures which retain its benefits.
Added to it is Turmeric and Frankincense.
I can honestly say it is the best MSM based supplement I have tried and I have tried a lot.
You can also buy MSM POWDER which is very good as well. The taste is a bit bitter but if you mix it with juice then it’s OK.
Higher Nature is a fantastic British Company with very high quality products. Their customer service is excellent.
I hope you have found these ideas helpful. They seem to work for me.
Of course, if you do have pain related issues then please consult your health practioner.
I’m off for a walk.