You might not think much about your joints on a day-to-day basis.
After all, most of us walk, run, jump, bend, and squat without a second thought to the way our muscles and bones are moving as we do so.
It’s only when our joints start to become painful that we start to notice them and think more about them. Over time, wear and tear on the joints can cause them to become weaker and swollen. This can lead to pain and discomfort in the joints.
There are things that you can do to lower the pain that you’re feeling in your joints. However, prevention is the best way to stop your joints from becoming painful. Here are some top tips to reduce pain and minimize your risk of inflammation and pain around your joints.
Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of painful joints. Regularly moving your body helps to strengthen the muscles and tendons that support your joints, and reduces stiffness in the area.
Regular movement is also important to help you maintain healthy body weight. When you carry excess weight, it causes more stress and force to go through your joints, which contributes to wear and tear. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can minimize this stress and keep your joints as healthy as possible.
Improve Your Posture
Whether you’re standing or sitting, you need to consider your posture. Having poor posture can cause your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles to be placed in sub-optimal positions.
When you’re sitting, try not to slouch and don’t sit with your legs crossed for too long. Keep your hips and knees at a 90-degree angle, and your back pressed against the chair.
When standing, keep your knees soft, with a slight bend. Avoid locking them out completely as this can cause excess strain to go through the joints.
Eating a nutritious diet can help your joints in three ways. Firstly, a healthy diet decreases your chances of being overweight. Secondly, it provides the vitamins and minerals that are needed to promote strong and healthy bones (such as calcium and vitamin D).
Finally, eating nutrient-dense foods that are full of micronutrients (in particular, vitamins C and E, and zinc) can boost your immune system. When your immune system is fully functioning, it lowers your risk of inflammation and autoimmune conditions, such as some forms of arthritis.
Dr. Carrie Wolf