As we advise frequently on the blog section of Onto Orthopedics, taking care of your body in order to prevent injury is always going to be preferable to seeking treatment for an issue or ailment! When it comes to your joints, this statement is especially true.
When we talk about joints in relation to the body, we are referring to the connective area between two bones. It is your joints that enable you to bend, turn and move your body. If you want to maintain optimum function in your joints as you age, then it is essential to take care of yourself and your joints! Working against us is the fact that as we age, the fluid and cartilage which lubricates the joints becomes worn and therefore less effective. As this happens, damage is more likely to occur.
So what are some risk factors for damaged joints? First of all, excess weight can be a big problem. The more weight your joints have to support, the more work they have to do and the higher the potential for damage is. As you lose weight you will be reducing the pressure on your joints, especially around the back, hips and knees.
Not only can regular exercise help you to lose weight which helps with the aforementioned reduction in pressure, but exercise also helps to combat existing inflammation in the joints. Low-impact activities are the best choices when I comes to using exercise in this way. Try getting in the pool for a swim once a week or cycling to and from work. Both of these are incredibly low-impact and will also provide a range of other health benefits. Being more active in general when it comes to your day to day will also be a great help for your joints! Low levels of movement throughout the day will quickly cause your joints to stiffen. If you are restricted to a desk job from nine till five then get creative. Get into desk yoga, take every phone call on your feet or chose to always be the person who wanders to the kitchen to make hot drinks for everyone else!
A lack of muscle will be of detriment to the health of your joints. This is because muscle helps to protect the joints and also keeps the ligaments strong. Weight training is the best way to build muscle quickly but you can also use your own body weight to do so, such as with press-ups and pull-ups. When embarking upon a muscle building exercise regime, always be certain that you are doing the exercise correctly and comfortably otherwise you run the risk of actually causing damage to your joints!