Do you suffer from joint pain? Are you afraid of developing arthritis? Here are our nine essential everyday tips for keeping your joints happy and healthy.
Spread the load
First things first, take care of your joints. We use them all so regularly, it’s easy to forget just how much work they do for us. So, make sure you don’t put too much strain on any one joint group. To prevent straining your hands and wrists, carry a backpack rather than a handbag or briefcase and use a hip or shoulder to push open heavy doors rather than rely on your wrists.
When you carry extra body weight, it places additional strain on weight-bearing joints. According to SAGA Magazine, an American study showed that loosing just 450 grams reduced the load on knee joints by around 1.8 kilograms.
Staying still rather than exercising may cause the pain and stiffness of arthritis to worsen. It pays to do regular, low-impact exercise to keep joints moving and improve blood flow. Exercises such as cycling, yoga, Pilates and swimming help you to keep your joints moving and maintain fitness while your weight is supported, reducing strain.
Some supplements such as chondroitin, glucosamine and rosehip oil may help to protect your cartilage or reduce inflammation.
It’s important to keep your muscles and joints as flexible as possible, to increase blood flow and prevent stiffness. Go gently and feel free to sit on the floor as you stretch to help disperse weight and prevent strain.
According to Arthritis Australia, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna, can help to alleviate arthritic pain, lower inflammation and improve the body’s response to arthritic medications.
Shoes, shoes, shoes
Investing in a comfortable and supportive pair of shoes might just be one of the best things you can do to support your joints day to day. Remember, your feet may change shape as you get older, so don’t be afraid to have a shop assistant measure them and help you choose the most supportive shoe.
You don’t have to wear active wear 24/7, but try not to sit still for too long. Get up, move around, do a lap of the room; just enough to keep blood flow reaching all your joints.
A study has shown that smokers are 26-50 per cent more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than non-smokers. If you needed another reason to quit, this is it.
Did you know about these nine tips to keep your joints happy? Are there any others you want to share with fellow readers? Let us know in the comment section below.
Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.