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How to Keep Joints Healthy
You have many joints throughout your body located wherever two or more bones are joined together. These joints allow you to move areas such as your knees, hips, and shoulders. Healthy joints allow you to move easily and painlessly as you perform various activities, but a damaged joint can cause a great deal of pain and limit your mobility. It’s important to do all that you can to keep your joints healthy in order to prevent injury or damage from occurring.
While some conditions that cause joint damage can’t be prevented, there are precautions you can take.
Warm Up Before Physical Activity
Being physically active is a great way to keep your joints healthy because it keeps the muscles around the joint strong. Strong muscles decrease instability in the joint and will prevent injuries from occurring. Getting 30 minutes to an hour of exercise each day will ensure that your muscles are strong.
One crucial element of exercise, however, is warming up properly before beginning your workout. It can be damaging to your joints to jump right into a strenuous workout regimen without allowing your joints to fully prepare. Your joints need time to warm up before they can handle a full-blown workout. Start with slow movements that get your blood flowing, and put all of your joints through a full range of motion.
Don’t Ignore Pain
If you’re experiencing discomfort in any one of your joints, the worst thing you could do is ignore the pain. Your joints may be damaged due to injury, and the damage could get worse the longer you ignore your symptoms. See your doctor at the first sign of pain so he or she can evaluate your situation and provide treatment.
It’s crucial that you allow your joints the time they need to rest, especially after performing repetitive or rigorous activities. Too much repetitive activity can be damaging to joints, so it’s important to take breaks during these types of activities to give your joints a chance to recuperate.
Eat a Healthy Diet
There is no exact diet that will eliminate joint pain, but certain foods may have positive effects on the joints. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation, so adding fatty fish to your diet, including salmon, tuna, and sardines, can be beneficial to your joint health. Calcium and vitamin D are also great for strong bones and healthy joints.
It’s also important to eat healthy because being overweight puts extra stress on your joints. If you’re overweight and experiencing joint pain, discuss a weight-loss regimen with your doctor to learn more about diet and exercise to improve joint health
If you’re dealing with joint pain, it’s important to get the relief you deserve. Take these tips into consideration to protect your joints and prevent injuries, and be sure to contact your doctor at the first sign of pain.
For more information on how to choose an orthopaedic surgeon to perform your joint replacement surgery, download our e-book, How to Choose Your Orthopaedic Surgeon.