Losing weight alleviates joint pain
We have all become much more sedentary since the 1950s. Eight out of ten adults used to walk for at least half an hour every day. Today, the average person walks for less than fifteen minutes. The average woman’s waist is a staggering six inches bigger than in the 195os and the household chores require half of the energy they used to, given modern cleaning equipment
Diet clearly plays its part. In the 1960s, takeaways did not exist. Now, 50% of the population regularly eat a takeaway. 25% of men are now obese in the UK, compared to 1% in the 1960s and 28% of women, compared to 2%
As a result, the average age of people needing joint replacements, that is knee and hip, is getting younger and the main reason is increased levels of obesity amongst the general population. At the moment, replacement joints do not necessarily cater for younger patients, who will create more wear and tear on the joint than a very elderly person.
Joint problems are only set to rise, with Age UK estimating that by 2036, the cost of treating hip fractures alone will cost the NHS £6 billion. There are currently over 70,000 knee replacements performed in Britain annually and this too is set to increase.
So what can you do to help your ageing parent or elderly relative maintain their joints in the best possible condition? Well, losing weight is the most important thing they can do, as it decreases the weight going through the joints. In addition, exercise can help weight loss and general health and self-massage can be very therapeutic, as can osteopathy and physiotherapy. Water exercise is very helpful for mobilising joints without impact and walking every day is also great exercise
Diet is also important. Healthy eating can make a big difference to weight loss and general health, by helping to prevent heart disease, stroke and diabetes and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol