Keep Joints Healthy

Stay in Motion

It's the golden rule of joint health: The more you move, the less stiffness you'll have. Whether you're reading, working, or watching TV, change positions often. Take breaks from your desk or your chair and get active.

Go Low-Impact

Which exercise is good? The best choices are activities that don't pound your joints, like walking, bicycling, swimming, and strength training.

Flex Some Muscle

Get stronger to give your joints better support. Even a little more strength makes a difference. A physical therapist or certified trainer can show you what moves to do and how to do them. If you have joint problems, avoid quick, repetitive movements.

Stretch Before Exercise

Flexibility helps you move better. Try to stretch daily or at least three times a week. But don't do it when your muscles are cold. Do a light warm-up first, like walking for 10 minutes, to loosen up the joints, ligaments, and tendons around them.

Shed Some Pounds

Your size affects some of the strain on your hips, knees, and back. Even a little weight loss can help. Every pound you lose takes 4 pounds of pressure off the knees. Ask your doctor what's the best way for you to get started.

Work on Your Range

Are your joints too stiff a? You'll want to get back as much range of motion as you can." That's the normal amount a joint can move in certain directions. Your doctor or physical therapist can recommend exercises to get yours where it should be.

Power Up Your Core

Stronger abs and back muscles help your balance. That means you're less likely to fall or get injured. Add core (abdominal, back, and hip) strengthening exercises to your routine. Pilates and yoga are great workouts to try.

Know Your Limits

It's normal to have some muscle aches after you exercise. But if you hurt for more than 48 hours, you may have overdone it. Don't push so hard next time. Working through the pain can lead to an injury or damage.

Eat Fish

If you have RA joint pain, a fish dish could help. Fatty cold-water types like salmon and mackerel are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep joints healthy. They also lower inflammation, which causes joint pain and tenderness in people with RA. Don't like fish? Try fish oil capsules instead.

Keep Your Bones Strong

Calcium and vitamin D can help. Dairy products are the best sources of calcium, but other options are green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale. If you don't get enough calcium from food, ask your doctor about supplements.

Target Your Posture

Stand and sit up straight to protect joints from your neck down to your knees. A walk can improve your posture, too. The faster you go, the harder your muscles work to keep you upright. Swimming can also help.

Ease Your Load

Take care of your joints when you lift and carry. Hang bags on your arms instead of your hands. That lets your bigger muscles and joints support the weight.

Chill Your Pain

Ice is a natural pain reliever. It numbs the ache and eases swelling. If you have a sore joint, apply a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel. Leave it on for up to 20 minutes at a time. You can also try a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel. Never put ice right on your skin.

Supplements? Ask Dr. Carter or Dr. Okezie First

Stores are filled with products that promise to relieve joint pain. Glucosamine and SAM-e have the best research behind them. Talk to your doctor if you want to give supplements a try. They can help you decide what's safe and what might affect your medicines or health conditions.

Treat Joint Injuries

If you get hurt, see one of our specialists right away for treatment. Then take steps to avoid more damage. You may need to skip things that put too much stress on your joint or use a brace to keep it stable. One of our specialists at APMS of North Houston in Humble or APMS of Baytown will assist you, call for your appointment today.

 

Author
Kim Bergeron Kim Bergeron Kim Bergeron has been published in local news, magazine and media print since 2004. Her background in media, journalism and health has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. Her writing skills may be confirmed independently on NewspaperArchive.com. She especially enjoys topics in her field of interests which are humanitarian, health and wellness. You may learn more about her work with APMS of Greater Houston at www.apmsbaytown.com.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Do I Have Sciatica?

Sciatica is a type of back pain cause by an issue with the sciatic nerve, usually injury or pressure. This type of pain can stem from the lower back and spread to the hips, buttocks, and legs. If you have sciatica seek treatment today.

Knee Pain Dos and Don’ts

The biggest joint in your body is your knee. It helps you sit, stand, lift, walk, run, and jump. It also has lots of parts that can get injured: tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones that you can crack, tear, dislocate, and more. Knee dos and don’ts.