Today marks the beginning of Self Care Week (16th-22nd November 2020), a time dedicated to encourage everyone to prioritise and take care of their wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
However, for those whose mobility is impaired, such as arthritis sufferers, the impact of physical health on mental wellbeing can be particularly profound.
17 million people in the UK suffer from a joint and musculoskeletal condition1, with as many as one third of the population over 45 having sought treatment for osteoarthritis. Sufferers experience debilitating symptoms including chronic joint pain, inflammation, stiffness, reduced mobility, joint function and chronic fatigue. The burden of these symptoms can have an effect on mental health, leading to 20% experiencing anxiety and depression2.
According to Dr Alastair Dickson, GP and Health Economist with an interest in rheumatology;
“One of the major problems of persistent pain including from arthritis is low mood and depression. The risk of this increases if your pain affects your mobility, energy levels and ability to work. Over recent years depression is increasingly recognised as a major concern and one the primary care team need to be much more aware of. Pain symptoms can also be more intense if you also have low mood or are depressed and it is typically harder to treat the pain if you do not address the mental health issues as well. Painkillers are often used for the pain of osteoarthritis. Over recent years evidence has been accumulating that overuse of painkillers is problematic and doesn’t necessarily ‘cure’ the pain.”
With recent NICE guidelines condemning pain killers as doing “more harm than good”3 if taken long term, self-care and a more holistic approach has never been of higher importance to arthritis sufferers.
Fortunately, simple lifestyle changes and a clinically backed supplement may offer hope. There is a large body of evidence supporting the use of GOPO® – a natural anti-inflammatory compound derived from rose-hip – to reduce joint pain without the potential side effects of conventional anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers.
Consultant Rheumatologist Dr Rod Hughes comments;
“Now the side effects of paracetamol are well documented it is imperative that we look at safer, long term alternatives for those living with joint pain. One such option could be the galactolipid GOPO®, which has been shown in randomized placebo controlled clinical trials to significantly reduce arthritis joint pain4-8 and reduce consumption of paracetamol by 40%4. In vitro studies have demonstrated GOPO® has anti-inflammatory properties which have a protective effect on cartilage, potentially even helping cartilage and joint tissues to rebuild and regenerate8. GOPO® was found to have a positive safety profile and is able to be taken long term”.
This Self Care Week, consider ways that you can show yourself a little kindness, whilst enhancing your wellbeing from the inside-out, with Our Top 5 Self Care Tips for Joint Health:
- Take regular, gentle exercise like walking, swimming and yoga to keep your joints supple while also increasing endorphin production – the feel-good hormone!
- Take a natural supplement, such as GOPO®, to help maintain your joint health and improve mood and wellbeing. One study has even shown significant pain relief after just 3 weeks of GOPO®treatment4.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds and at least two portions of oily fish per week – fresh foods and nuts contain antioxidant nutrients that can help reduce inflammation and protect against cell damage and the fish oils can help prevent and manage arthritic conditions.
- Get good sleep! Good quality sleep is suggested to reduce inflammation in the body and thus pain. Create a strict bedtime routine, avoiding electronic devices before bed as well as caffeine and alcohol.
- Do something for yourself! From your favourite hobby, to spending time with friends or even just relaxing with your favourite book can all help alleviate stress and improve mental health.