Nov 3, 2023
Joint pain is one of those conditions that people often complain about, but they seldom ever take action. Sure, once the pain starts, there are many different ways to prevent inflammation, ranging from over-the-counter medicine all the way to corticosteroid injections. Still, you can also be proactive about your joint health.
So, here are a few joint health tips that you should abide by and a few proactive treatments to alleviate pain and inflammation.
One of the causes of joint pain is that your joints carry more weight than they were designed to. You see, as you live, breathe, and move, your body is slowly deteriorating. Don’t be alarmed; your body also has some miraculous regeneration properties, but these can only do so much.
Therefore, you’re aiming not to put your body under more stress than it can recover from, and maintaining a healthy body weight is the first step. This is also incredibly important for those who suffer from sacroiliac joint pain. Overall, carrying less weight will relieve your joints.
While trying to lose weight, it’s important that when it comes to joint health tips, it’s not just the calories that make a difference. The nature of the nutrients could also cause a problem, provided that you’re eating a lot of red meats and other foods that cause inflammation.
Generally speaking, you want to avoid refined carbohydrates, aforementioned red meat, and saturated trans fats. In general, processed and fried foods are a huge no-no. Moreover, you should also avoid dairy products.
On the other hand, fatty fish, nuts, berries, and leafy greens are foods for healthy joints that you shouldn’t ignore.
One more thing: staying hydrated is equally important, so try to pay more attention to your sustenance and diet, in general.
One of the first things you want to learn is - how to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints and ligaments. Namely, while joints and ligaments can only strengthen and thicken so much, the surrounding area, especially the muscles, can help them hold the overall weight and pressure. This means that by staying active and actively working on these muscles, you’ll increase the overall resilience of the affected area.
Just keep in mind that not all activities are helping. Skiing, for instance, puts incredible pressure on your joints. Some sports, like basketball or football, put your joints in unnatural positions. You land on your feet, make sudden shifts and twists, and, overall, put an incredible amount of pressure on your own joints. Instead, you want to find activities for those with joint pain and adjust your lifestyle.Swimming is terrific. Mobile joints without sudden impacts. Bike riding and the elliptical machine as well.
Now, you must stretch and warm up your joints while working out and before any intense physical activity. This will drastically reduce the likelihood of sprained joints and increase your overall resilience.
Generally speaking, stretching before and after the workout will increase your joint mobility and significantly improve your overall athletic performance (and the effectiveness of your workout).
You must stretch all your joints. So, do neck and shoulder rolls, as well as wrist circles, ankle alphabet, and knee hugs. This shouldn’t take more than several minutes. As for the warm-up exercises, doing jumping jacks, leg swings, and high knees are some of the best joint health tips that you’ll ever receive.
Sometimes, you won’t get enough micronutrients from your regular diet, and you might have to make up for this through supplements. Glucosamine and chondroitin are two such supplements, which are usually found in cartilage and connective tissues. Both are believed to promote, in some capacity, the maintenance and repair of joint cartilage (one of the tissues with the lowest natural regenerative ability in your entire body).
While these two are the most important joint health supplements, there are a few other micronutrients that you should consider. Methylsulfonylmethane, turmeric, and omega-3 fatty acids can also help. The last one is why we mentioned eating fatty fish as one of the essential joint health tips earlier in the article.
It’s well documented that stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline (when elevated over a long period) contribute to inflammation. In other words, chronic stress may lead to chronic inflammation.
Another thing to remember is that stress causes muscle tension, leading to pain and stiffness. Also, this tension puts additional stress on your joints. This is especially the case in your neck and in your back.
Not to mention that stress could weaken your immune system. This alone could cause you to fall victim to illnesses with joint inflammation as a symptom.
So, what helps with joint pain? Keeping stress levels as low as you can! Still, it’s not like you didn’t have a reason or interest to lead a stress-free life earlier.
Working on your posture is incredibly important for your spine health, so you need to do something about it immediately. Other than just the spine, it also affects your neck, shoulders, hips, knees, pelvis, and sacroiliac joint.
While this may not seem as bad today, the older you get, the worse it will become. So, if you’re wondering how to keep joints healthy as you age, you might want to start working on your posture.
For starters, you could try making a more ergonomic workspace. If you’re working out, pay special attention to your core and back. Regular exercise, a better working environment, and conscious awareness will make a huge difference.
Following these few joint health tips ensures less joint pain and higher mobility, even as you age. The best thing about these tips is that they’re great for your health, in general. Staying away from stressful situations, eating anti-inflammatory foods, and working out are good lifestyle tips. On top of it, they benefit your joints, so it’s a win-win scenario.
Learn more about joint health from the experts at the Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey.
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