Feeling stiff after a long run? Or is it a condition you feel most days?
Whatever the reason, stiff joints can make doing everyday tasks a real pain in the backside. However, with the right type of nutrition and a few top tips, you might be able to loosen up your joints a little more.
Here are our four recommendations to get you started.
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Hot or cold compress
Applying temperature extremes might help stiff joints. For a chillier option, apply a cold compress or bag of ice to the joint for around 15 to 20 minutes, every day. By doing this, it can help to reduce inflammation and swelling, plus encourage joint movement. It’ll also help to minimise pain by dulling your pain receptors.
Just remember to put a damp cloth around any frozen bags to avoid your flesh from burning – ouch!
For the warmer option, opt for a heating pad, hot water bottle or take a long bath to increase blood circulation and relax your muscles.
If you do decide to have a bath, use Epsom Salts. They have been traditionally used to ease sore muscles and joints as the worm bath may help to relax the muscles, whilst the magnesium within the salts can be absorbed transdermally (through the skin) and may aid with muscle function.
This probably isn’t what you want to hear if your joints are stiff after doing exercise, but it can help. Physical therapy and stretching can help increase joint mobility and reduce stiffness. Foam rolling stiff areas is particularly useful.
Exercise can keep you in shape, subsequently taking any excessive weight off your stiff joints.
Fuelling your body with the right minerals and vitamins is another way to help stiff joints. For instance, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil supplements have been reported to have reduced morning stiffness and pain.2
Flaxseed also contains omega-3 fatty acids
, as well as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which have been found to reduce inflammation and reduce the painful symptoms of joint stiffness.3
Some evidence even found that glucosamine sulfate plays a role in creating cartilage and relieving joint pain.4
The same report found it could be useful for those suffering from osteoarthritis.
Curcumin, commonly found in the spice turmeric, is also believed to have positive anti-inflammatory effects on the joints too.5
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Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.