If you’ve been experiencing joint pain, you’re not alone. In a national survey, at least one-third of all adults reported experiencing joint pain over the last 30 days. Joint pain can be debilitating — it can limit your mobility, impair your ability to perform everyday tasks, and negatively impact your lifestyle.
Although joint pain is fairly common, it doesn’t have to be inevitable. You can do certain things to stay mobile, avoid or ease chronic joint pain, and slow down joint damage.
If you’re trying to learn about what you can do to keep your joints healthy, you’ve come to the right place.
Tip #1. Weight Management
Proper weight management essentially helps limit the amount of stress on your hips, knees, and ankles. According to the Arthritis Foundation, when you lose one pound of body weight, you can reduce the load on your knee joints by four pounds. You can reduce or maintain your body weight by staying active, so there’s less load on your joints.
When you’re overweight, your joints sustain extra strain. Conversely, if you’re underweight, the lack of muscle can lead to joint instability. By reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, you can boost your joints’ resilience to strain and injury and prevent damage.
Tip #2. Diet and Nutrition
Your weight and diet play a significant role in how healthy your joints are going to be. Focus on your nutrition and how well you fuel your body. Incorporate the following into your diet to help promote joint health:
- Lean proteins help build strong muscles.
- Fish such as cod, salmon, mackerel, and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help prevent joint inflammation. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids are also helpful for people who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, a type of arthritis that causes swelling in the joints.
- Walnuts, flaxseeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Dairy products and fortified foods that contain Vitamin D and calcium are good for keeping your bones strong.
- Green, leafy vegetables such as kale and broccoli are also excellent sources of calcium. Your body doesn’t produce calcium naturally, so you need to get it from the foods that you eat. Green, leafy vegetables such as kale and broccoli are also excellent sources of calcium. If you don’t have enough calcium in your diet, your body will start to remove it from your bones. This can eventually weaken and damage the bones and joints.
- Red and purple fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries contain anthocyanins — a type of antioxidant. They’re great for reducing the levels of C-reactive protein, which indicates joint inflammation.
- Stay hydrated. 80% of the cartilage in your body comes from water. When you’re not hydrated, your body will take water from other sources, which can damage your joints.
You should also avoid alcohol, fried foods, and foods that are high in sugar.
Tip #3. Exercise and Physical Activity
Regular exercise reduces the strain on the cartilage found between the bone and strengthens your muscles. Move around as much as you can during the day, and avoid staying in the same position for too long. Remember to incorporate warm-ups and cool-downs in your routine. Stretching prepares your joints for vigorous workouts, eases soreness, and prevents post-exercise injuries.
Here are some exercises that you can try:
Try exercises such as yoga and pilates that aim to strengthen your core. When your abdominal, chest, and back muscles are strong, you can improve your balance and prevent falls and accidents that may lead to joint injury.
Low Impact Exercises
If you can’t do high-intensity exercise regularly, low-impact exercises such as stretching, cycling, and water aerobics can also make a huge difference.
Walking is also a great way to keep fit and active. Here are some great tips to help you make the most of your daily walks:
- Avoid using ankle or hand weights because they can cause injuries
- If the weather is bad, stay indoors and use a treadmill.
- Choose walking shoes that offer ample arch support. Look for a pair that has padded soles for added support.
- Walk briskly. If you’re finding it hard to breathe or talk, slow down.
Suffering From Joint Injury or Joint Pain? Contact Us Today
Joint injury can lead to the loss of cartilage in that area and cause more damage to your body. If you’re suffering from joint pain or joint injury, you need to see a health professional right away for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.
Our sports medicine specialists and surgeons at Thunder Basin Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine are highly experienced, offering the best possible care and treatment to all our patients. We specialize in sports medicine, joint replacement, treatment and care for fractures and traumatic injuries, and minimally invasive surgery. Call us now to schedule a consultation. We’ll get you back on your feet as soon as possible.