9 Simple Healthy Habits For Joint Pain
Regardless of your age or joint condition, you need to start taking steps that will keep your joints healthy throughout life. You don’t need to wait till your joints start hurting before you start adopting healthy lifestyle habits that will benefit your joints.
You probably already know that exercise is key to keeping healthy joints. But what more can you do? Check out these lifestyle tips to help you keep your joints in good shape.
Keep Yourself In Motion
The joints are made for moving. Anything that keeps them from fulfilling this role puts them in far greater danger. Understandably, people with arthritis will easily resist physical activity or motion out of fear it could hurt their joints even more.
Keeping yourself still most of the time increases the stiffness of your joints. This results in pain and inflammatory responses that cause more pain in your joints. But when you move, you ease the joint stiffness and strengthen the muscles supporting your joints. Staying in motion actually works, so encourage yourself to keep moving.
Lose Some Weight
Too much body weight puts some strain on your knees, hips, and back. Converging lines of evidence have demonstrated that overweight individuals have higher rates of osteoarthritis than individuals who aren’t overweight in their lifetime.
If you already have arthritis, consider losing some weight to help your arthritis treatment. Understandably, weight loss requires dedication, time, and commitment. You can begin by setting relevant and achievable goals.
For instance, you can target lowering your weight by 5%. That is, if you weigh 240 pounds, set a target to lose 12 pounds and go forward from there. Remember, shedding some pounds helps. Even one less pound will help preserve your knees.
Engage In Low-Impact Exercises
Starting an exercise routine is key to effectively treating arthritis. These exercises should be low-impact, so it is recommended that you speak with a pain specialist to help you out. These exercises work for all kinds of joint conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, and many more.
Exercises help to reduce joint pain by increasing the lubrication of the affected joints and hence reducing pain and inflammation.
Treatment options for joint pain also include stretching exercises that increase range of motion and aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, swimming, and resistance training. Additionally, exercises have the added incentive for people who have arthritis to start moving.
Strengthen Your Muscles
You need to get in the habit of stretching whether you have arthritis or not. If you already have arthritis, you already know what waking up with stiff joints feels like.
For people with arthritis, it’s usually the hardest time to move. Instead of resisting movement, you can begin your day with minor stretches to feel more flexible and limber. Some good examples of stretches that are beneficial for the joints include hamstring stretch, piriformis stretch, corner stretch, serratus punch, and many more.
Shocking? Yes, smoking makes arthritis worse. Smoking triggers an inflammatory response that causes more pain and swelling in the joints. It is harmful to your connective tissues, joints, and bones as well. You will be doing your joints a great favor if you quit smoking.
Consume More Vitamin D & Calcium-Based Foods
Calcium and Vitamin D are both vital for bone health. Studies have demonstrated that individuals with arthritis have far less vitamin D in their blood than those who don’t have arthritis. Low calcium levels in the body system have also been linked to low bone density and increased fracture risk.
Calcium and vitamin D are beneficial for the joints, and they can readily be obtained in diets or supplementation. Salmon, mackerel, tuna, egg yolks, cheese, and eggs are great sources of calcium and vitamin D.
Maintain Good Posture
Poor posture is one of the leading causes of joint pain. Proper alignment of your joints from your spine, shoulders, hips, and knees is dependent on your body posture. When this alignment is distorted as a result of poor posture, joint pain sets in on the affected area.
For instance, if you’re carrying around an uneven weight because you constantly have your briefcase or a handbag, it affects your posture, and that imbalance can lead to shoulder impingement.
Over time, it can lead to rotator cuff injuries around the shoulder joint. Maintaining a good posture can be your first step towards eliminating joint pain. You only need to practice conscious awareness of your posture.
Treat Joint Injuries
Joint injuries can often involve the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joints. Treating these injuries as early as possible prevents them from turning into even more serious joint pains and arthritis in the future.
But if you’ve tried managing joint injuries with over-the-counter medications and brief exercise and the pain refuses to subside, then you may be a good candidate for regenerative medicine involving stem cell therapy and PRP therapy.
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Making certain changes to your diet can help your joint pain. Additionally, certain diets help to relieve associated symptoms such as pain and swelling.
Fish varieties such as salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3-fatty acids which have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Other food types with high anti-inflammatory effects include broccoli, walnuts, spinach, olive oil, and lots more.