MEN’S HEALTH: Defy Osteoarthritis and Stay Mobile—at Every Age!

mh-15.jpgAthletic activities and supplementation are the natural men’s health foundation to preventing osteoarthritis and remaining flexible and active in every phase of life.

Fred is 75 years old and his grandson, Bill is 22. Both are interested in men’s health, and both are active for their ages. Bill trains for triathlons, Fred likes to walk or swim almost every day. When young Bill strains something during training, he heals up in a matter of days. Fred’s hip still aches since he sprained it four months ago. It isn’t fair!

What’s the difference between the two?

The body’s ability to heal joints and ligaments comes from its ability to produce the tissues needed for repair. When you’re in your teens, and even into your twenties, the body can easily make new connective tissue. Collagen and cartilage go into keeping those joints supple and moving smoothly.

The years go by, and the body begins to lose this ability, replacing damaged ligaments and cartilage with stiff scar tissue instead.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 50 million Americans have some osteoarthritis (OA), and that over 8 million report their arthritis is severe enough to limit their activities. The prediction is that by 2020, up to11 million will be restricted by OA. That’s a shame, because much can be done to keep people active and pain-free without resorting to pain medications. Pain drugs don’t heal arthritis, they stop the healing process in the joints. Even over-the-counter painkillers cause thousands of deaths every year from gastrointestinal bleeding. The drugs block pain sensations, so GI bleeding can be silent and pain-free, but eventually deadly.

What can you do?

Movement and supplementation both play a major role in reversing and preventing osteoarthritis. You have to keep moving or your joints stiffen up. Ask anyone who has had his arm in a sling and developed ‘frozen shoulder.’ Walking is good, tennis and golf are great, swimming is even better because your whole body moves, yet there is little stress on the joints as they go through ranges of motion.

Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, as well as MSM, are all helpful. Glucosamine and chondroitin are building blocks your body needs to repair and rebuild cartilage tissue when you’re no longer young and growing. MSM is a source of sulfur for tendons and ligaments that’s helpful when you have pain in your joints. Fatty acids also play a role in keeping joints healthy. Omega-3 fish oils helps reduce inflammation, and can make your joints move more freely.

There is no longer any question that these natural substances are effective, and can help alleviate, slow the progression of, or prevent osteoarthritis. They are one of the best additions to active men’s health regimens.

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