Your joints are subjected to constant use throughout your life. Orthopedicians always stress on how important it is to take proper care of joints so that joint problems in old age can be avoided. Joints are the connectors of the bones in the body and enable all the bending and twisting motions you perform, usually without even thinking about it. Because of the constant use,joints become worn as you age which can result in mobility problems and chronic pain conditions like arthritis.Age related loss of tissue and cartilage density and the reduction in muscle mass all place additional stress on the joints. The effects of wear on the joints are often seen when a person crosses the age of 50.Repairing joint damage is a complex process and complete success is never certain. It is far better to take care and protect the joints to minimize the wear and associated medical conditions.
A specialist in orthopaedic medicine will be able to give you detailed advice on what you need to do to protect your joints, including specific actions pertaining to your individual physical condition. That being said, there are a few general steps you can take to safeguard your joints.
Inactivity can cause your joints to become stiff and working out is something that all orthopedicians suggest. But the wrong type of physical activity will place unwanted stress on your joints. On the other hand, the right type of exercise can strengthen your joints and improve agility. Low impact exercises like cycling, walking, swimming etc. will strengthen and lubricate the joints. Weight training will build up muscles and so increase support for the joints.
Bad posture like slouching while sitting or walking with hunched shoulders places excessive stress on the joints as the pressure on them is uneven.Spending long hours in front of the computer or TVare among the most common causes of bad posture. Correcting the way you sit, stand and walk will help to protect your joints.
The greater your weight, the greater the load on your joints, especially the ankles, knees, hips and lower back. This places needless pressure on the joints, increasing the wear and tear. Controlling your weight will reduce the stress and protect your joints.
Eating right is an integral part of weight control.Avoiding junk foods and not snacking between meals will help to control weight. Eating the right foods will give you more energy while also strengthening your joints so they can cope with the increased amount of physical activity. There are also some foods like leafy green vegetables and some types of berries that have anti-inflammatory properties and so help to reduce any existing joint pain.
Water is the lubricant of the joints. Ensuring that you are always well hydrated will keep the joints lubricated and reduce the wear and friction they are subjected to. Try to keep a water bottle with you at all time and keep sipping from it. Keep in mind that alcohol and soft drinks do not hydrate the body, instead they work to cause more dehydration. Avoid them as much as possible.
Smoking tobacco increases the risk of osteoporosis and joint pain. Because smoking can affect the way the brain processes pain signal, the early signs of joint problems may be supressed and emerge only whenthe condition is serious. To protect not just your joints but your health in general, do not smoke.
No matter how young and active you are, the earlier you start caring for your joints, the fewer problems they will cause you as you grow older. A hospital with a dedicated orthopaedic department will be able to examine you, find any incipient joint problems and provide a course of treatment which involves joint protection to keep you active and mobile.