Joint health concerns are not uncommon for those with fibromyalgia and many have joint involvement of some kind. More people with fibro are exhibiting joint or bone density issues and a tendency towards any of the various forms of arthritis.
Joint involvement or joint disease can vary in degree depending on history, ongoing deficiency and active TRP’s (trigger points) that can ‘pull’ on and exacerbate the integrity of joints. In fact, many of the fibromyalgia TRP’s are located in close proximity to joints used within daily range of motion such as knee, hip and shoulder joints.
FEELING ALL FLARED UP ?
Although various aspects of fibromyalgia are not inflammatory in nature, any form of arthritis that often accompanies fibro is an inflammatory condition as well as a perpetuating factor within fibromyalgia. And, inflammation often coincides with many co-conditions and/or digestive illness.
When working to strengthen joints, we are also working on the surrounding areas including tendons, ligaments and muscle. For instance, in osteoarthritis, the joints can become out of alignment through wear, injury, active TRP’s (trigger points) or inadequate muscle strength.
In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation is more active due to the body attacking itself as an ‘auto immune’ response.
Yet, In all cases of arthritis, the inflammation, TRP’s, myofascial constriction and any deficiency need to be addressed.
(See also Fibromyalgia-Trigger-Points for related information.)
ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) can be more challenging for people with joint related pain. We talk often about the differences between these activities of daily living that can sometimes be detrimental and the focused exercises that strengthen and create greater agility within the body.
This is essential to understand and remember. For example, while leaning down to clean a bathtub may be nearly impossible with painful joints, participating in focused exercises can be done by most people.
Safe and effective exercise
As a trainer living and working with fibromyalgia, I am concerned about safety first. It is not as easy as just telling someone with fibro and osteo issues to “go exercise”
Because joint pain can be debilitating, we need to be sure we are keeping our activity safe and effective.
I always recommend using variety in your activities to avoid repetition and stress on joints.
For instance, we use the bike for increasing strength around the knee, but only in short increments, like 3-5 minutes.We also want just enough intensity to get the blood flowing around those joints. Blood flow will help to decrease pain.
For joint health, it is essential to focus on increasing muscle strength whenever possible. Joints and muscle support each other. Joints are strengthened through daily strength applications, starting with body weight exercises and progressing to light to moderate weight training.
Using weights that strap around the ankle/lower leg area can be very effective when working to strengthen knees and ankles. Exercises such as leg lifts or lying on a raised platform using ankle weights can be done safely even for those who cannot get down on the floor. A bed can also be used.
We also use light compression wear around vulnerable areas like the knees, feet (nerve pain) and shoulders. We find Copper Wear helpful. Experiment with different compression wear until you find brands that help you and feel comfortable for every day wear. Compression is essential for increasing blood flow while protecting joints and muscles.
What about nutritional support for joints?
We have experimented with various remedies for joint health over the years. We have found a few that seem to be more effective over long term use.
- Hyaluronic acid, Strontium, Collagen (Great Lakes brand) Fish oils, CLO (Green Pastures Cod Liver Oil), Glucosamine, Biosil liquid, and FG’s Joint Jello as shown below.
- I also like MSM for joints, hair and skin. Although I am not linking one here, as I have found many good brands out there, including Jarrow for MSM.
- Additionally, I use and recommend Boswelia for natural anti-inflammation and respiratory support. The Savesta brand is a good potency.
- Anti-inflammatories such as curcumin, ginger, black cumin oil ..
- And I especially like the Krill Healthy Joint Formula shown below:
Be sure whatever brand you take is of good quality.
Krill Healthy Joint Formula, a patented combination of krill oil, hyaluronic acid and astaxanthin.
Research has shown krill oil to be especially effective for joint health.
Hyaluronic acid (found naturally in joints) lubricates and cushions joints, supports cartilage and soft tissue.
This form of HA combined with krill oil has been found to be better absorbed as well.
Krill oil, a natural source of astaxanthin, suppresses free radicals, can reduce inflammation and enhances mitochondrial function, making this a perfect supplement for fibromyalgia and joint health alike.
Fibro-Girl’s Joint Jello For Joint Health
Do you want an easy and fun way to get heal-thy collagen into your diet? How about a healthy jello that tastes good and helps to nourish not only your joints, but skin, hair and nails as well..
This jello recipe can be made as low glycemic as needed OR with full strength juice, depending on your dietary needs.
My recipe is a lower glycemic version to keep the natural sugar content low.
Fibro-Girl’s Joint Jello Recipe:
-Simmer one cup of juice liquid (1/2 tart cherry OR cranberry juice,1/2 water) on stove in small pot.
-Add one Tbsp. of Great Lakes gelatin and stir until dissolved.
-Add one more cup of cold juice liquid.
-Add up to 1/4 cup diced or grated organic orange peel or carrot.
-Stir again and pour into glass pan or ice cube trays and put into refrigerator for at least three hours to gel.
Enjoy and share with other family members.. we can all benefit from healthier joints and better sleep as well!!
Our skeletal system is the ‘foundation’ of our bodies.
Everything we put into our bodies must go through the process of digestion and this can affect bone and joint nourishment.
How and when we sleep also affects the integrity of our bones and joints; create a lifestyle that supports this foundation while supporting a more functional life with fibromyalgia at the same time.
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