Cures for creaking bones

TLC for old bones  >  It is cold. It is damp and older bones are creaking. Nothing specific, no particular ailments – just the creep of time taking its toll. Those with money shuffle away to warmer climes, while those left behind phone

Most of our callers swear by their own special pain busting remedies. One of the most popular is ginger *. Sounds unlikely but Danish researchers have found that it does ease muscle and joint pain, swelling and stiffness for up to 63% of eaters within two months. Experts credit ginger’s potent compounds called gingerols, which prevent the production of pain-triggering hormones.

But the more senior citizens you ask the more remedies you will find for the annual aches bought on by the cold damp weather. What works for one has no affect for another. We know of one caller who swears by applying an ointment containing capsaicin, which is a substance found in cayenne peppers. Others recommend exercise programmes to boost the production of the body’s natural painkillers while we also receive glowing reports about acupuncture and taking 1,500mg per day of DL-phenylalanine. All these ideas are passive and worth a try, but ultimately visit your doctor for a check-up find out if your pain is being caused by a treatable condition.

As for Tonic, we recommend a soothing hot drink and a warm fire watching a film that will bring a glow to your heart. Nothing too sexy though as you must also watch your blood pressure!  Have a creak free day.

N.B. * The recommended dose is – add at least 1 teaspoon of dried ginger or 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger to meals daily.

11 comments on “Cures for creaking bones

  1. Paula Russ (Dr) said:

    Pain is a sensation that is transmitted from an area of tissue damage or stress along the sensory nerves to the brain. The brain interprets the information as the sensation of pain. Substances that decrease pain either interfere with the ability of nerves to conduct messages, or alter the brain’s capacity to receive sensations.
    Always remember that pain may be a symptom of an underlying pathological condition, such as inflammation. It may also be due to other causes, such as bruising, infection,burns, headaches, and sprains and strains. So I like the home remedies you mention, but use caution when treating pain without understanding its cause – this may delay diagnosis of conditions that could continue to worsen without medical attention.

  2. An old codger in Woking said:

    My naturopath told me that ginger is a natural relaxant. I grate it very finely, char it to an ash and then make the ash it into a tea. When charring it use a flat pan and watch it carefully as it will burn and smoke. It tastes vile but totally stops my stomach cramps and vomiting for hours at a time.

  3. Anon said:

    Honey. More honey and lots of it. Yum – and it is 100% natural

  4. Terry Harding said:

    Muscle pain is the most common type of pain. Tender knots in your muscles are called trigger points, and many them correspond to acupressure points used in treatments such as acupuncture or sports massage. Push on the trigger point with enough pressure to see a white mark from your finger and hold for at least 45 seconds. It will hurt at first, but doing this increases the energy flow to help release the muscle the same way a sports massage works to ease the pain.
    If you have pain in a hard-to-reach spot—such as your back, shoulder, or neck—apply pressure with a tennis ball. Simply lay on the floor – you may also lie on your bed but you’ll be able to apply more pressure if you lay on a hard surface – place the ball near the area where there is pain, and roll it around until you find the most tender spot. Lie there for 1 to 5 minutes, or until you feel your muscles relax.

  5. Lilly M (client 78) said:

    try arnica cream.
    the humble arnica flower makes an incredible cream that no medicine cabinet should be without. use it immediately to speed up the healing of bruises, sprains, sore muscles and other general aches.

  6. Pat Knight said:

    Listening to music helps improve pain intensity in people with chronic back pain. Plugging into your iPod helps lessen the intensity of pain’s because you are distracting yourself with something pleasurable rather than focusing on your aches.

  7. Canning said:

    Doing nothing is totally wrong when you get older.You must keep active.
    Also activating a sore muscle is better than resting it. Getting the blood flowing to those muscles will reduce inflammation and help them heal. Choose a less strenuous exercise to do for a few days Then gradually work your way back up to a harder routine.

  8. Prof G.J. Smythe said:

    I agree with the previous blogger – doing nothing is not the answer. Also denying pain is never a good idea.
    Acute pain — the kind that comes on suddenly — should be treated as quickly as possible to prevent it from becoming a chronic pain condition, which is defined as pain lasting more than three months.
    Check on vitamin D. Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels to make sure you’re not deficient. Vitamin D can be helpful in preventing micro fractures and alleviating pain that stems from fractures associated with osteoporosis.
    Then remember that obesity adds to pain problems in older people. Extra pounds put tremendous strain on the body, increasing your chances of experiencing chronic joint and lower back pain.
    Finally the older you get the more important it becomes to get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can worsen pain and contribute to muscle tightness and depression. If you are not sleeping well, and changes like going to bed earlier and developing good sleep habits fail help, check with your doctor to see if you have a sleep disorder.

  9. Dr Lloyd said:

    Painless noise in or around a joint is nothing to worry about — but when the noise is persistent and there is accompanying pain there could be a more serious problem. So if your bones are creaking here is my quick guide to what it means if you are an older person ….
    • Elbows – If your elbow gets stuck in a bent position you could have a loose piece of bone or cartilage floating around in the joint. A small piece of detached cartilage can calcify, much like a grain of sand in an oyster turns into a pearl. This causes the joint to lock. A popping or clicking sensation on the inside of the elbow is likely to be a subluxing ulnar nerve, which is responsible for the funny bone sensation when you knock your elbow. If it keeps flipping in and out of the groove where it is supposed to sit you can hear a pop. This can bruise the nerve, causing a tingling in the ring and little fingers. It is treated with a simple operation on the nerve.
    • Shoulders – If you hear and feel a painful grating sensation the likely cause is arthritis; request an X-ray to determine the exact cause and extent of the condition.
    • Hands & wrists – It is an old wives’ tale about cracking your knuckles giving you arthritis. The noise happens because the tendons that bend the thumb back run down a smooth tunnel which has lost fluid and the tendons rub against the tunnel walls. Steroid injections can treat the inflammation, although occasionally a small operation under local anaesthetic is needed to trim the tendon. A creaking at the base of the thumb, combined with sharp pain, could be arthritis. It can be treated with a steroid injection or surgery to replace the joint entirely.
    • Ankles – The loudest noise any human joint is likely to make is when the Achilles tendon ruptures or tears. But often there is no noise and people do not know it has happened until the pain hits a few moments later. Treatment is either surgery to stitch the two ends back together or a below-knee cast. A quieter snap could mean you have damaged the tendons around the ankle. These tendons are on the outside of the joint – unlike the Achilles, which is on the back. As a result of the injury, every time you move the ankle, the tendons dislocate and relocate, hence the snapping sound. Surgery is the only option.
    If you twist your ankle and hear a pop it is probably a sprain. It is a classic injury for older people when they step off the edge of a kerb and their ankle turns.
    More than 85 per cent of sprains and strains heal without surgery – they simply need rest, ice, compression and elevation.
    • Hips – The most common complaint is a ‘snapping’ noise. It occurs when the thick band of fibrous tissue that supports the leg muscles catches on the outside of the thigh bone. It is rarely painful and almost always is nothing to worry about. though it can also herald the onset of arthritis.
    It is a dangerous world!

  10. A lame oldie said:

    Doc Lloyd seems to have forgotten ‘toes’. I think it is caused Morton’s Neuroma but it makes my toes click. Yuk! It is like walking with a pebble in my shoe, with searing pains in the toes. My doc tells me that it is caused by the nerve between the ends of the bones in the balls of my feet being crushed and swollen. The clicking is the swelling on the nerve sliding between the bones. I have had a range of treatments from having inserts to support the ball of my foot to steroid injections to shrink the swelling. Nothing has worked!

  11. Lilly said:

    I disagree that hip snaps are not painful. Mine are excruciatingly agonising when they snap I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, they sound like a gun being fired!

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