GRUNDY COUNTY HEALTH COUNCIL
karen wickham, rn
Welcome to 2015! We’ve made it through the holidays and all the fun, memory-making gatherings. Most folks are probably still in full swing with keeping their New Year’s Resolutions! The weatherman says that very cold air is moving in so let’s talk about those aching joints you may be having.
For several years, I noticed my hands hurting when I awakened in the morning. After being up and moving around, the pain would quickly go away. It was not until some friends were visiting and mentioned that he could not eat any tomatoes or potatoes or his hands hurt that something clicked with me. This is a very classic symptom of osteoarthritis!
Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cushioning on the end of the bones begins to deteriorate which allows some friction in the joint. Some physicians believe this is caused by overuse of the joints as arthritis happens most frequently in the hands, hips, knees and spine. There is irritation or inflammation in the joints.
Over the last few years, studies have shown that getting older is a sure cause of arthritis. For me, I’ll take it! And another cause we can do something about is being overweight. This is a good time of year to buddy up with someone to help you be accountable with your weight loss. Better yet, find a friend who will go to the gym, take a Zumba class or hit the walking track with you. Studies have shown you will be more successful if you partner with someone to lose weight.
Dr. Agatha Thrash, who has written extensively about preventive medicine shares that many foods contribute to the inflammation in the joints such as all the nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, pimento and paprika). She also says that being just under our ideal body weight is most helpful in relieving the symptoms and discomfort of osteoarthritis. This may also help to slow the progression of the arthritis and help to improve pain and joint function. She highly recommends wearing proper clothing so that we keep our extremities, neck and ears warm. So as the cold weather of winter sets in, bundle up from head to toe as you go out to exercise.
Keep moving. Keep active. Eat Well. Choose Health!