Fight fatigue & tiredness

 Control your weight
 Tips to help you sleep
 Exercise your brain 
 Exercise your body
 Avoid constipation
 Supplements benefits/risks?
 Avoid cancer 
Lower cholesterol 
 Lower blood pressure
 Micro-nutrient testing
Receive our monthly lifestyle research newsletter

Joint Pains and Arthritis 

natureHeat anti-inflammatory balm

  • Purely natural and organic ingredients
  • No artificial chemicals or hydrocarbons
  • Rare anti-inflammatory essential oils
  • Pure natural wintergreen and African sage
  • Rich in anti-oxidant herbs
  • Deep moisturising properties
  • Ideal for small joints inflammed tendons
UK prices
Outside UK orders

Joint pains  are very common in humans and indeed are assumed to be part of the natural aging process. The normal aging arthritis is usually caused by osteoarthritis. This most commonly affects the large joints such as hips, shoulders and knees but the fingers and toes can be affected cause pain (arthralgia) and disfigurement such as bunions and nodules on the fingers (heberdan's nodes). When the spine is affected, as well as pain and stiffness, the degenerative damage to the cartilage associated with osteo arthritis can lead to disc prolapse (slipped discs) leading to pressure on the  nerve roots causing neuralgia and sciatica. 

 Individuals with arthritis also commonly suffer from other musculo-skeletal  chronic inflammatory conditions including:

Other causes of arthritis As well as the common osteoarthritis, there are several acute and chronic medical conditions which can damage the joints such as infection, gout, autoimmune condition and rheumatoid arthritis which require specific intervention but we will concentrate on lifestyle and environmental factors which make the common osteoarthritis worse or better

Factors which can make osteoarthritis arthritis worse:


What can you do to help?

Osteoporosis will affect all of us as it is a progressive degenerative condition associated with aging but that's not to say we cannot do anything about it. Our lifestyle can certainly help to slow the progression and alleviate the stiffness and discomfort. The three main areas to concentrate on are 

  • Improving general health

  • Dietary measures and weight control

  • Adopt a good posture

  • Exercise and stretching

General health: Excluding specific medical conditions, arthalgia (joint discomfort) is often associated with changes in our general sense of well-being. We are all familiar with aching joints when we get a cold or flu. It is important to improve your general health

  • Stop smoking >>

  • Sleep well >>

  • Maintain a healthy weight >>

  • Drink alcohol sensibly >>

Diet: ingested chemicals and toxins are thought to get caught in the micro vessels of our joints. These toxins not only cause direct irritation themselves, but can also trigger an immune attack from the body, which causes collateral damage to delicate joint tissues. For these reasons, a diet low in man-made chemicals, is certainly well worth a try.

  • Avoid foods with significant amounts of man made chemicals particularly processed foods containing preservatives, colourings and flavourings

  • Washing fruit and vegetables thoroughly to reduce the amounts of pesticides and herbicides

  • Considering organic foods as much as possible to further avoid pesticides and herbicides 

  • Avoid commercially packaged snacks, burnt or smoked food containing acylamides and aromatic hydrocarbons

  • Avoid  processed sugar - fizzy, sugary drinks,  sweets, cakes and muffins 

  • Avoid unhealthy fats - processed meats, fried or deep fried foods, crisps and pastries - read more

  • Increase intake of healthy fats - oily fish, fish oil supplements, avocados - read more 

Joint friendly vegetables, herbs and spices: Many herbs and spices have anti-inflammatory properties. In fact vegetarians who eat plenty of salad and vegetables have levels of salicylate in their blood equivalent to 80mg of aspirin a day, without the problems of gastric irritation and indigestion. In fact, the opposite, higher levels of vegetables actually protects the stomach which is very relevant for individuals with arthritis as they may have to take anti-inflammatory drugs. As well green vegetables in general, herbs such as ginger and turmeric have particularly good anti-inflammatory properties.

Avoid aggravating foods: Some individuals report that some foods exacerbate their joint aches and pains such citrus foods and nuts - but these are healthy foods so it is worth being sure before excluding them from the diet. Keeps a food and joint pain severity diary for a month so any association can be more easily correlated. is a good idea een shown to help some people and the evidence for these have been reviewed in the specific supplement section. Regular fresh ginger can act as a natural anti-inflammatory agent.

Weight: Losing weight will help prevent further wear and tear, particularly on the large weight-bearing joints such as your hips, knees and back. read helpful tips to reduce weight.

Posture: Bad posture particular leads to neck, lower back and shoulder pains. . Most of us do not even know we are slouching until someone points it out, or we see a video or photograph of ourselves. Simply being aware of a deterioration of your posture is a good start, as most of us know what to do; walk tall, chin in, shoulders back and stomach in. It may be worth undergoing a short course of osteopathy to get things started

Exercise: Exercise may seem incongruous if joint pains have already set in, but especially when combined with stretching, it is a fantastic way to help immediate pain and prevent further progression.

Stretching: Imagine the hinges of an old door; if it is only opened and closed half way each time, only half the hinge will stay smooth, the other half will rust over, creek and strain if an attempt is made to open the door fully. Stretching may be a little more difficult at the beginning, because even if you stretched before treatment, there may be a degree of re-training required.  It is well worth putting aside ten minutes every day for stretching in a fairly regimented programme, either alone or in a group, which ensures all your joints are stretched. Start from the neck down, extending and flexing your joints into the fullest range possible without causing pain. Move down your body, via the shoulders, back, hips, knees, hands and feet, to develop a system that works amazingly well.  

Pilates and Yoga; If time and local facilities allow, major benefits can be achieved by attending a yoga or pilates class.  Pilates and yoga are not just for flexible young females, it benefits everyone at any age even if you cannot even touch your toes. You don’t have to be a contortionist to participate, as a good class should cater for all levels. Instructors are usually highly qualified and really understand the exercises which strengthen the core muscles to enable you to improve your posture. Pilates and yoga stretch the joins, tendons, ligaments and muscles around them, which although sometimes uncomfortable at the time, improve the health of the joints, increase flexibility and reduce long term swelling and pain. The first step is to find a convenient class close to you. Next is to discuss with the instructor your level of fitness so you can join the relevant class. The third and most difficult, attend regularly! Although classes are cheaper, if you are self conscious, lack time or cannot find a suitable local class, a personal trainer should provide motivation, exercise and stretching guidance all in one. Find a pilates or Yoga class in your area >>

Specific neck and shoulder exercises  

Neck stiffness is fairly common following cancer therapies, for a variety of reasons. Steroids may have impaired core strength and posture, chemotherapy and some hormonal therapies can generally cause joint discomfort, particularly with aromatase inhibitors. During radiotherapy, patients have to hold their neck straight during treatments which can cause some stiffness. Finally, as we all get older, our neck becomes very prone to stiffness and pain. The neck being a complex series of joints, which if weakened or inflamed can cause muscle spasm, pains down the arms and discomfort radiating up the back of the head – not an infrequent cause of headache.

Exercise 1.  (see the three adjacent pictures). Stand straight and as upright as possible, stretching your arms towards the ceiling, as high as possible. Hold for 3-4 seconds, then bring your arms to the horizontal position, and push your elbows back. At the same time keep your chin towards your chest – this should arch the upper thoracic spine and straighten your neck. Repeat three times.

Exercise 2.  Facing straight ahead, look up as high as possible. Hold for three to four seconds, and then look down as low as possible (hold for three to four seconds). Repeat three times.  

Exercise 3. Facing straight ahead, turn your head to the right as far as possible (hold for three to four seconds), and then move your head slowly up and down for ten nods. Then turn your head to the left, and repeat three times:   

Exercise 4. Facing straight ahead, tilt your head to the right, as if trying to put your ear on your shoulder. Hold for three to four seconds, and then repeat on the left. Repeat on both sides three times.

These neck stretches can be combined with the breast exercises above, or other good shoulder exercises, such as shrugging. To do this, sit or stand squarely. Bring your shoulders up towards your ear. Relax and repeat. Sink your shoulders downwards. Relax and repeat. Ease shoulders forwards. Relax and repeat. Pull shoulders back. Relax and repeat each movement five-ten times.

As with any exercises and stretches, it is very important to get into a routine and perform them every day – even if only for 10 minutes. It is also a good idea to perform neck exercises in front of the mirror, in order to achieve the optimal posture.