As a clinic, it's our goal to keep your body moving freely and without pain.
Injuries, age, and a lack of movement can slow you down, keeping you from doing the things you love. Your body was made to move. Your joints play a vital role in your how your body moves and feels. Our joints connect our bones, provide support, and help you move around all day. When joints are damaged, either by injury or another factor, it can cause significant discomfort and loss of function.
Consider these tips to help prevent joint trouble.
1. Be Mindful of Bad Mechanics
Do you carry a heavy purse? Are you lugging a heavy backpack around all the time?What about sitting at your desk with poor posture, looking down at your phone for prolonged periods, or even wearing the wrong types of shoes? These can all have detrimental impacts on your joints and may cause what we refer to as a “repetitive stress injury.” Don’t stop there, though. Body mechanics matter throughout the day — in the car, at home, and even when you sleep.
2. Watch Your Weight
Extra pounds will add additional stress to your joints - causing them to wear faster. Joints in the knees, hips, and ankles are especially at risk.You can drop pounds with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Just start where you are and add more movement to your day. You can also work with a nutritionist to set up a diet plan that makes sense for your specific needs.
3. Incorporate Low-Impact Exercises Into Your Routine
When you get ready to exercise, you might worry about damaging your joints. Many common workouts put a lot of stress on the knees, ankles, and other joints. Swimming, cycling, yoga, and walking are all activities that are relatively joint-friendly and will also help you maintain a healthy weight. Be sure to include strength training as well, using proper form to protect your back. Strong muscles help support your joints and protect them from daily stressors.
4. Don’t Smoke
Another harmful habit to consider ditching is smoking. Research shows that individuals who smoke have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis and other bone problems. Giving up smoking isn’t easy, and you don’t want to replace one bad habit with another. Instead, look at the stressors in your life that cause you to want to smoke. Find ways to minimize those triggers, and when they do happen, create a strategy to deal with them without tobacco. When you replace your smoking habit with healthy behaviors that help you manage that stress, you’ll be better off mentally and physically.
5. Eat a Nutrient-Dense Diet
Not only will eating healthy help ward off unwanted weight, but nutritious foods can also help fight inflammation. Different foods have different nutrients, so it’s important to avoid fad diets and eat various fruits, vegetables, meats, and healthy carbs. For more advice on how to clean up your diet, check out this nutrition infographic.
Start Early to Avoid Joint Pain
Joint pain becomes more common as we age, so early attention is crucial. The more of these steps you can implement today, the better! At the same time, be sure to get help when you need it. If you’re experiencing joint pain, give our office a call. We can help you identify the culprit and start a treatment plan that will get you back on track.