Maintaining Joint Health

Joint Health

The joints between our bones play an important role in keeping the body moving, from simple tasks such as bending, walking, reaching and turning. Yet they are also a common place for injury and deterioration, which could lead to painful conditions like arthritis.

The Human Skeleton

Your skeleton is made up of an average 213 bones which are joined together by ligaments and tendons at junctions called joints. The skeleton frame helps to set the shape of your body and plays a major role in movement and protecting the body’s organs.

Healthy Joints

Joints are either fixed like the skull or allow movement such as in your arms and legs. To keep the joints supple and to ease flexibility, the bones in these joints are covered in a smooth cartilage and contain a synovial fluid which lubricates the joint. Each joint is also surrounded by ligaments which support the movement of the bones when controlled by muscles.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a disorder of the joints which can cause inflammation and pain. There are many different types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Osteoarthritis: A condition which develops when joints lose the cartilage which naturally protects the bones from touching. This can commonly occur in the fingers, knees, hips, neck and spine and affects most people over the age of 60.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: A chronic condition where the joints become inflamed and then damaged. The small joints of the fingers, thumbs, wrists, feet, and ankles are common problem areas. Rheumatoid arthritis can start in early adulthood and develop with age. Women are also more likely to be affected than men.

Causes & Symptoms

Osteoarthritis is likely to be caused by years of daily wear and tear to the joints, although excess weight, impact exercise and overuse of a joint may also play a role. Usually the body works to repair itself, but in some people this process reduces and osteoarthritis develops. As a result the joint cartilage becomes damaged and worn. Symptoms of osteoarthritis may include:

  • Pain and stiffness especially in the morning or after rest.
  • Reduced mobility.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the joints and associated tissues, causing damage and inflammation. Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • A mild fever, weight loss and tiredness.
  • Inflammation and swelling around joints which may feel warm to touch.
  • Stiffness
  • Painless lumps on the skin (nodules) may occur in some cases.

Gentle low impact exercise may help strengthen muscles and improve joint condition. Applying heat or ice to joint can help to reduce pain and dietary supplements may also support the management of arthritis.

Green Lipped Mussel

The Green-lipped mussel may be found in the seas of New Zealand characterised by dark green/brown shells with green lips and only one adductor muscle. Also known as greenshell mussel or Perna canalicul the Green-lipped muscle is of economic importance to New Zealand as it is one of their largest species of mussel.

Optima Musselflex Green Lipped Mussel Extract and Joint Health

Extracts taken from the Green-lipped mussel have been found to contain qualities to benefit those suffering from joint disorders. Green mussel extract can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which although is a normal reaction by the body in most circumstances, in some conditions like arthritis inflammation can cause pain and damage to the joints.

 

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