There are many inevitable changes that occur in the human body as it ages, such as the appearance of wrinkles and grey hair. Some changes, such as declining bone and joint health, are believed to be unavoidable when, in fact, the decline can be prevented or reduced as long as you remain physically active. There are five major muscle and bone conditions that are common as you age and we’ll discuss four of these briefly.
The first is osteoarthritis, a condition where cartilage within joints breaks down causing stiffness and pain. The second is osteomalacia, a condition where bones become soft due to problems metabolizing Vitamin D. The third is osteoporosis, a condition where bones lose mass and become brittle making fractures more likely to occur.
The fourth is rheumatoid arthritis which is inflammation of the joints, and muscle pain or weakness resulting from any of the previously listed conditions. The pain caused by declining bone and joint health can be reduced or reversed as long as you maintain a proper diet, exercise, and take supplements when advised by your doctor.
Physical Activity Can Help Reduce or Reverse the Risk of Some Age-Related Bone and Joint Conditions:
As we age, muscles lose strength and size which can lead to fatigue and a decreased ability to exercise. If you are inactive, muscle fibers reduce in number, muscle tissue is replaced at a slower rate, muscle tissue is now replaced with tougher, more fibrous tissue, and changes in the nervous system reduce the tone of muscles and their ability to contract.
Our bones also change by losing tissue as we age and the lower a person’s bone mass, the higher the risk for breaks. Bones become less dense from inactivity and the loss of calcium and other minerals. Joints are lined with cartilage, which will become thinner and a lubricating fluid which will decrease with inactivity.
Supplements Pick Up Where Diet and Exercise Leave Off:
If you have a deficiency in a particular vitamin, mineral, amino acid, etc., a supplement may be taken along with a regular healthy diet. Companies produce many supplements that are crucial for bone and joint health. One of the most popular and important supplements is calcium because it is used by the body to produce bones.
Glucosamine is another essential nutrient taken in as a supplement. Glucosamine is an amino sugar that is believed to play a role in cartilage formation and repair. Glucosamine Sulfate has been suggested in the treatment of osteoarthritis, but for now, medical evidence is inconclusive.