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? And, how can we tackle these problems to lower the risk of a problem developing?
First of all, excess body 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 through diet and exercise, 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 choice when it 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 activities 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 choose to always be the person who wanders to the kitchen to make hot drinks for everyone else! There are so many inventive ways to ensure you move more during each day, so don't limit yourself!
Poor Muscle Mass
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 arguably 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!
The health hazards of smoking cigarettes have become hard to deny over the last few decades, and this is a health risk that more and more people are paying attention to.
Smoking can contribute to joint pain, and can also be of detriment to your health in an abundance of other ways. If you are struggling to stop smoking then consult with your healthcare professional, as help is always available!
When we think of stress we often consider this to be a problem of the mind. However, the truth is that chronic stress can actually cause physical problems in the body.
Increased inflammation in the body is believed to be connected to higher levels of stress and tackling the sources of stress in your life can help to ease this issue. This is something that you may have to address in a gradual way, as it is simply never possible to instantly eradicate stress from your life!
Finding new and interesting ways to bring happiness into your life is a good practical way to tackle this issue. You might try a new hobby or go on a fresh adventure. Take a trip to a place that you have always wanted to visit or try to spend more time with your loved ones. The things that bring us pleasure are unique to all of us, so find what works for you to boost your positivity and expel negativity!
If you have experienced an injury in the past then there is the risk that you may experience ongoing issues, especially in your joints. This is because they can be difficult areas to heal entirely.
Although you can't entirely prevent accidents and injuries from taking place, you can work to be your healthiest self so that your body has the best possible chance of getting back to full health! Assess your diet and make sure you are getting an adequate amount of exercise.