Having stiff hips or a bad back is a typical complaint of many people. As people age, taking care of joints is important in order to live life to the fullest. Not taking care of joints can result in everything from sprains and strains to dislocations and arthritis. These particular conditions are common in weight-bearing joints such as ankles, knees, elbows, shoulders, and wrists. There is good news though – with the proper care, joint pain and injury can be avoided.
This proper care can begin with some simple diet changes, such as eating more fish. There are certain fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids have numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation in the body. Those who eat fish regularly have been seen to have lower instances of arthritis. Eating trout, salmon, mackerel, and sardines at least twice a week will help this.
The knees have to support the entire weight of the body; therefore, maintaining a healthy weight is imperative to the health of the joints. Even just being ten pounds overweight can force the knees to carry an extra thirty to sixty pounds, according to research. Research has also shown that overweight people are four times more likely to get osteoarthritis of the knees than those who maintain a healthy weight.
Joints start to wear out over time, and injuries can cause them to wear more rapidly. Always use proper safety when playing sports or exercising and try to avoid injury whenever possible.
While keeping in mind the need to be safe while exercising, know that exercising is a positive step to maintaining joint health. It will take excess weight off and also strengthen muscles around the joints. This strengthening will stabilize the joints and protect them from any added wear and tear.
Be sure to alternate between aerobic activities and strength training to get maximum benefits for joint health. Stretching is another good way to maintain and gain flexibility as well as a range of motion.
Not only does exercise protect the joints, but so does use correct techniques when working out lifting, and sitting. One good example is to lift with the hips and knees, and not the back when picking up heavy objects. Be sure to carry items close to the body so that there isn’t undue strain on the wrists. If sitting is a large part of the day, make sure that the legs, arms, and back have good support.
Another important step to protecting the joints is to take proper supplements. Education on supplements is important to make sure the right one is being taken for the right purpose. To learn more about this subject look at JointHealthGuide.org for up to date information on supplement usage.
Alcohol in Moderation
Studies have shown that those who drink moderate amounts of alcohol might have a smaller risk for getting rheumatoid arthritis. This isn’t an absolute, but drinking around one glass a day for women, and two glasses for men, has been linked to not only joint health but many other joint benefits. As with anything, be sure to consult with a doctor before starting any new regimen.
See a Doctor
If joints are beginning to get stiff or sore, be sure to see a doctor right away. The sooner the problem can be addressed, the better the treatment options. Arthritis is a progressive disease, meaning the sooner treatment is started, the better the outcome.
Joint pain and arthritis can’t always be prevented. There are many causes that can’t be helped such as, age, family history, and gender. However, following the tips provided above may help to reduce the risk of developing aching joints and arthritis that happen as one gets older. Lifestyle changes will not only help to protect the joints but will be helpful in preventing other diseases as well.