It is a well-known fact that most developed cities are facing the problems of
ageing, and Hong Kong is no exception. It is predicted that 21% of Hong Kong
inhabitants will be aged 65 years or above in year 2024, as compared to 13%
in the year 2009.
1 In other words, within 10 years, one in every five citizens of Hong
Kong will be seniors. Elderly are significantly impacted by joint issues
1, 2. Studies showed that Chinese men has similar level of joints issues
as compared to Caucasian men, while Chinese women has significantly higher
joints issues as compared to Caucasian women. The Beijing Study showed that
in the population group aged 60 years or more, the prevalence significant
joints issue was 42.8% in women and 21.5% in men.
Problems occur due to a breakdown in cartilage, which causes bones to rub together.
Joint wear and tear is a natural degenerative process that happens as we
age, but factors such as overuse, injury and weight and lifestyle issues
can increase the risk of developing joint problems.
It might seem counterintuitive but according to the Harvard Medical School,
it can actually help to keep on moving. Consider mixing up your exercise
regime with low-impact options, such as swimming or yoga, or let your body
recover from high-impact exercises with gentle stretching or Pilates to strengthen
and relieve joints.
Eat the right foods
There are plenty of vitamins and nutrients in certain foods that help support
the health of your bones, joints and muscles. The ingredients you want to
look out for are calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium, manganese and
phosphorous. Calcium and vitamin D help keep bones dense and strong, while
manganese helps support connective tissue. Manganese and potassium are responsible
for maintaining electrolyte balance, which is critical for muscle function.
You can also try supplementing your diet with a comprehensive multivitamin containing
vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and herbs to support your overall health
and wellbeing. Magnesium, for example, also supports your energy levels and
promotes healthy muscle function.
Support joint health
Taking a joint supplement early can help to maintain the health of your joints
and minimise the risk of your joint health deteriorating over the years.
By supplementing your body’s naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin,
you can help to preserve the precious structure of your cartilage, which
acts as a buffer between your joints, If you are looking to, take good care
of your joints, glucosamine and chondroitin offer a safe option for long
Omega-3 fatty acids, from premium sources such as Neptune Krill oil, have been
shown to reduce inflammation, joint stiffness and pain in just seven days;
these ingredients can also be found in specially formulated joint supplements.
Seeing a physiotherapist regularly or enjoying a deep tissue massage will
do wonders for your joints. Taking care of yourself in this way will help
to prevent serious, long-term damage, it feels great and you will have the
benefit of expert advice on prevention and treatment. Be mindful though that
there are limits to what can be done once joints are damaged or inflamed
and some symptoms, such as joint deformities, simply can’t be reversed.
Joint problems are a reality for many, but tweaking one or two little things
can make you symptom-free. Supplementing your diet with a variety of nutrients
and vitamins from natural foods will ensure you avoid problem joints completely.
1. WH Yuen, Osteoarthritis of knees: the disease burden in Hong Kong and means
to alleviate it (Hong Kong Med J ⎥ Volume 20 Number 1 ⎥ February 2014)
2. Hong Kong Population Projections 2010-2039. Hong Kong: Census and Statistics
Department (As cited in 1)
3. Felson DT, Nevitt MC, Zhang Y, et al. High prevalence of lateral knee
osteoarthritis in Beijing Chinese compared with Framingham Caucasian subjects.
Arthritis Rheum 2002;46:1217-22. (As cited in 1)
4. Zhang Y, Xu L, Nevitt MC, et al. Comparison of the prevalence of knee
osteoarthritis between the elderly Chinese population in Beijing and whites
in the United States: The Beijing Osteoarthritis Study. Arthritis Rheum 2001;44:2065-71
(As cited in 1).