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Feeling your age? Deal with those aches and pains

April 3rd 2012

Getting out of bed in the morning doesn't have to be a struggle with these top tips
Sometimes, even with the best intentions, getting up in the morning can be difficult, especially if you’re carrying a few tweaks and twinges. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you could help achy joints to wake up feeling good as new.

Dr Claudia Berty, lead GP from Shakespeare Medical Practice has some advice on dealing with those aches and pains.

Treat tired and aching muscles

“Staying physically active will keep muscles warm and flexible,” Dr Berty says. “But if pain is in a localised area, try using hot and cold packs. Anti-inflammatory gels and rubs, which can be purchased over-the-counter, could also be beneficial,” she says. “Some people find using a hand held massager can help relieve aches and pains as well, as can having a warm bath.” 

Help with back pain

If you suffer from back pain staying in bed may seem like the best thing to do. However, inactivity is now thought to be an ineffective way to deal with it. “Try to continue with normal activities as much as possible,” advises Dr Berty. “Simple stretches and gentle exercise may help. If you have a sedentary job, using a lumbar support can help to decrease strain on your back, while pilates and ballet are exercises that can help to improve your core strength.”

Easing the symptoms of arthritis

Getting out of bed in the morning can be extremely difficult – and painful - if you suffer from arthritis. “As is the case with many chronic illnesses, simply keeping fit and healthy can decrease the severity of symptoms of arthritis,” explains Dr Berty. “Exercising and stretching regularly can help nourish cartilage and strengthen the muscles and tendons.”

Maintain a healthy weight

Carrying extra weight can also be a contributing factor to aches and pains as it puts excess strain on your joints. Dr Berty recommends trying these simple tips to maintain a healthy weight:

• Fill up on brown rice, pasta and bread – these low GI options will help you avoid ‘sugar crashes’ which can lead to snacking

• Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – the fibre will help you feel fuller

• Avoid excess fat, sugar and salt

• Drink water – sometimes we can confuse thirst with hunger

• Do regular exercise - weight loss will help with aching muscles and joints

Take a glucosamine supplement

Many health professionals recommend adding a glucosamine supplement to your daily diet to help ease aches and pains. Glucosamine occurs naturally in our bodies and helps to lubricate joints and cartilage, keeping them flexible and mobile. However, the amount of natural glucosamine that our body produces declines as we get older so getting it in supplement form could help to ease those aches and pains.

 

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