When you stop and think about how your joints function, and all of the things they allow your body to do, it’s pretty amazing. From the larger ones, like your knees and shoulders, to the smaller ones in your feet and hands, joints let your body move smoothly. If you have joint damage, all those movements, ranging from what you need to get done to what you can’t wait to do, can be quite painful.
The experts at Orthocenter provide the care you need to remain comfortably mobile. Book an appointment today, and in the meantime, follow these seven tips to help you protect your joints and keep them healthy.
1. Exercise, but knowledgeably
One of the best ways to keep your joints healthy is to use them: Keep moving! But, do so with an understanding of how what you’re doing impacts your joint health.
Alternate between high-impact and low-impact activities. For example, if you’re a lifelong runner, you may want to begin alternating running with low-impact activities like swimming and biking.
2. Get your blood flowing
If your preferred form of exercise is walking, make sure you’re walking briskly enough to raise your heart rate. Aerobic exercise — the kind that gets your heart pumping — improves your circulation, and better circulation leads to healthier joints.
3. Be flexible
You should also incorporate some flexibility training into your exercise routine. Whether you attend a yoga class or simply spend 10 minutes a day stretching, you’ll be increasing your range of motion, which is another way to protect your joints.
4. Warm up, cool down
Regardless of what kind of exercise you’re doing, ease your body into it. Take a few moments to warm up your muscles before exercise so they can better support your joints. After exercise, take the time to let your heart rate slow, and gently stretch your muscles.
5. Tune into nutrition
Proper nutrition, especially in conjunction with exercise, may lead to weight loss, which is another way to protect your joints. Additionally, you can use nutrition to address specific joint-related issues, such as inflammation.
Some nutritional factors to consider:
- Portion size
- Calcium intake
- Amount of saturated fat in your diet
- Vegetable and fruit consumption
- Whether supplements would be helpful
Nutritional advice, though plentiful, is often contradictory and difficult to understand. Discuss your specific situation and needs with your care provider at Orthocenter.
6. Adapt as necessary
If you already have some joint damage, or your provider has indicated your joints are in peril, adapt where you can. For example, using an electric mixer puts less strain on your joints than manually mixing ingredients while cooking.
Similarly, adjusting the height of your bed, making sure there are no tripping hazards in your house, and making use of available labor-saving appliances can all reduce the wear-and-tear on your joints.
7. See your doctor regularly
One of the most important aspects of good joint health is to take care of your overall health. See your care provider regularly, and if you also see specialists, keep up with appointments with them, as well.
If you have specific questions about protecting your joints, or you need advice that is pertinent to your individual situation, book an appointment at Orthocenter.
We have four locations, in Red Bank, Morganville, Marlboro Township, and Holmdel, New Jersey, and you can request an appointment at any of them using our online tool, or simply call the facility most convenient for you and we’ll be happy to help. You can also send our team a message here on our website.