A new topical gel has been clinically proven to relieve pain and improve joint function associated with all stages of osteoarthritis, particularly for runners who are at higher risk of suffering wear and tear. In a clinical trial on 1395 people with osteoarthritis of the knee, FLEXISEQ® gel was shown to reduce joint pain, stiffness and improve joint function.
The study found FLEXISEQ® gel achieved results equivalent to the effects of an oral, anti-inflammatory prescription drug.
Arthritis is the major cause of disability and chronic pain in Australia, with 3.85million Australians affected at a cost to our economy of more than $23.9 billion each year in medical care and indirect costs such as loss of earnings and lost production. Current trends suggest that, by 2050, 7 million Australians will suffer from some form of arthritis.
FLEXISEQ® is a topical treatment that lubricates the cartilage in joints to relieve pain and stiffness. Jonathan Freeman, Exercise Physiologist and Strength and Rehab Coach, said many studies have found that osteoarthritis begins with the injury that makes the joint unstable.
'The joint instability then increases the sliding between the joint surfaces and reduces the efficiency of the muscles. Disruption to the cartilage and underlying bone causes wear and increasing shear, which eventually leads to degeneration," Freeman said.
FLEXISEQ® is a -smart' gel, containing phospholipid spheres, called Sequessome™ vesicles that blend natural biology and technology to lubricate joints.
'These spheres, or bubbles, which are attracted to areas of high water content, are able to deform to penetrate through the skin and reach the target areas beneath. 'So in many respects these spheres act like a fluid-seeking missile to lubricate your joints" Dr Sam Yurdakul, Flexiseq Co-Creator and Director Product Development & Regulatory Affairs.
'People who used FLEXISEQ® gel twice daily achieved about 40 per cent reduction in pain associated with osteoarthritis" said Dr Yurdaku.
Clinical studies found that FLEXISEQ® gel also reduced joint stiffness and improved impaired joint function by more than 35 per cent, seen as early as just two days in some patients.
'These results are similar to a commonly prescribed oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug but without the systemic side effects often associated with those medications," said Freeman.
Awarded the Innovation Award 2013 by the Federal Association of German Pharmacists, FLEXISEQ® gel is a unique topical therapy for quick and effective relief of joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.
An independent survey found 97 per cent of people with osteoarthritis judged FLEXISEQ® equal to or better than other products with respect to its effect on pain.
After just three weeks, 99 per cent of people said FLEXISEQ® had improved their joint mobility. For further information visit www.flexiseq.com.au
Available to purchase online: www.flexiseq.com.au/product/flexiseq-joint-lubrication-gel-50g/
Question: How many Australians are affected by arthritis? ?
Jono Freeman: In Australia, around 3.85 million are currently living with arthritis – that's roughly 18% of the population who wake up with pain, swelling and inflammation. Arthritis can't always be prevented – gender and genetics can play a role – but you can take steps to reduce your risk of developing painful and inflamed joints as you age.
Question: What are the symptoms associated with Arthritis? ?
Jono Freeman: We generally don't see people in the practice until they begin experiencing pain in their joints. Other warning signs may include pain first thing in the morning upon waking, stiffness when walking, and visible swelling at the site of the affected joint.
Question: What are some ways to help prevent or delay the onset of arthritis? ?
Jono Freeman: Exercise: Strength work centred around correct joint alignment, and ensuring that you are not overloading on painful areas. For osteoporosis, gentle running or walking, and strength work that are centred around total body exercises may assist with improving bone mineral density. Exercises such as lunges or squats may also help.
For those suffering osteoarthritis, swimming is excellent for these individuals, as it is non weight bearing and causes minimal pain.
Nutrition: Avoiding overly processed food and maintaining a balanced and healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit, leafy vegetables, and nuts will help with decreasing inflammation in the body associated with arthritis, and will generally improve your mood, control your weight, and have you feeling much more alert.
Articular cartilage occurs naturally in our body at the end of our bones, and contain a fair amount of water within. Maintaining adequate levels of hydration throughout the day will also ensure that our articular cartilage is properly maintained, which enables our joints to work at their optimum level.
Supplements (Including Gels) : Supplements are a convenient way to fill small nutrient gaps that may be missing in our diets- but it should be noted that they should not take the place of real food. In saying this, there are a number of supplements that may assist with decreasing inflammation found in our body, including fish oil, glucosamine, and turmeric.
Question: What are some of the things you can do to slow down the progression of osteoarthritis? ?
Jono Freeman: Ensure the correct alignment of joints prior to exercising: This can be undertaken with an exercise physiologist, which will help you with establishing good exercise technique, and will ensure that you reach your long term goals
Maintain adequate nutrition: As mentioned above, ensuring you are partaking in a balanced and healthy diet may assist with easing inflammation in our joints, and slowing the progression of arthritis, or at least helping with symptomatic relief
Drink plenty of water: We know that our body is comprised mainly of water, and is also present in our joints. Maintaining hydration levels will ensure that joints remain lubricated and inflammation is minimal.
Keep Moving! Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day to ensure that you are increasing strength and flexibility. Exercise will also help combat fatigue and reduce joint pain. Some sufferers believe that exercise will worsen the pain in their joints, but in reality lack of exercise will cause further stress to joints.
An Anti-Inflammatory Gel: A product like Flexiseq is specially formulated to combat joint pain associated with osteoarthritis, and may also assist with joint stiffness. This gel is applied topically to the source of joint pain.
Question: What types of exercise can help reduce the risk of Arthritis? ?
Jono Freeman: Strength work centred on correct joint alignment, and ensuring that you are not overloading on painful areas. For osteoporosis, gentle running or walking, and strength work that are centred on total body exercises may assist with improving bone mineral density. Exercises such as lunges or squats may also help. For those suffering osteoarthritis, swimming is excellent for these individuals, as it is non weight bearing and causes minimal pain.
Question: What are the top five stretches you would recommend for someone who suffers from arthritis or joint pain? ?
Jono Freeman: Hip Flexor Stretch: Hip Flexors are the muscles in your body that are responsible for bending your knee and flexing your hip. The most common complaint we see with an individual's hip flexors is that they are usually very tight. A stretch such as a seated butterfly stretch may assist with opening this area and easing tightness.
Calf Stretch: This is a quick and easy stretch that can be done while holding onto a stable objet such as a chair, railing, or wall for stability. Keep in mind that this stretch should not be painful in any way
Glute Stretch: This is an stretch can be done in a seated position.
Hamstring Stretch: To maintain balance and stability, hold onto a stable object such as a chair, or counter or railing while completing this stretch.
Lower Back Stretch: This is a gentle stretch on your back and shouldn't cause pain and discomfort. If it does, do not continue and seek advice from a healthcare professional.
Question: Are there any supplements of foods we should nourish our body with to prevent and treat Arthritis? ?
Jono Freeman: Although diet alone will not cure arthritis, there are certain foods and ingredients that may assist with reducing inflammation in the body. Fish/Fish Oil: Certain types of fish are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, which assist with fighting inflammation in the body. Include salmon or tuna into your diet a few times a week. Taking fish oil supplements may also assist with this.
Glucosamine Supplements: Glucosamine occurs naturally in the body and helps to maintain the health of cartilage, the tissue that cushions bones at the joints. The older we get, the more the level of natural glucosamine in our bodies begins to drop. This leads to gradual breakdown of the joint, contributing to conditions such as osteoarthritis. Glucosamine supplements may assist with reducing inflammation in the body, and is non pharmaceutical, cost effective, and easily accessible.
Turmeric: Turmeric has been a staple in Indian dishes such as curry for centuries. This is due not only to its bright yellow colour and rich flavour, but also its anti-inflammatory properties.
Nuts: Including certain nuts in your diet such as walnuts and almonds may help with reducing certain markers of inflammation in your body associated with arthritis.
Dairy Products: We know that the calcium found in dairy products has been shown to assist in increasing bone strength in the body. Consider including low fat milk, yoghurt, or cheese. If your body doesn't agree with dairy, calcium can be found in other food sources such as leafy green vegetables.
Question: Can you talk us through the best foam rolling moves? ?
Jono Freeman: You can download my foam rolling app on iTunes for tips on how best to improve joint mobility - Foam Rolling App caters for all individuals that use or want to use a foam roller to massage muscle and release tightness.
Interview by Brooke Hunter