your joints

As you age, your joints can start to feel the wear and tear of daily life. Whether it’s from years of physical activity, poor posture, or just the natural aging process, taking care of your joints is crucial for maintaining overall health and mobility. 

Safeguarding Your Joints

Joints are one of the unsung heroes of the musculoskeletal system. Not only do they connect the bones, but they also provide stability to the skeleton and allow movement. Here at South Shore Orthopedics, we have put together six essential tips for safeguarding your joints and ensuring a healthier future.

1. Stay Active, But Choose Joint-Friendly Activities

Regular physical activity is essential for joint health, as it helps to strengthen the muscles around the joints and improve flexibility. However, it’s important to choose activities that are gentle on the joints, such as swimming, cycling, or walking. These low-impact exercises help to reduce the risk of injury while still providing the benefits of physical activity.

2. Maintain A Healthy Weight

Carrying excess weight puts added stress on the joints, especially those in the knees, hips, and spine. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can reduce the strain on your joints and lower your risk of developing joint problems such as osteoarthritis. Research has shown that losing as little as 11 pounds may improve your joint health and cut your risk of osteoarthritis of the knee by 50%.

3. Practice Good Posture

Poor posture can lead to imbalances in the body, putting undue stress on the joints and increasing the risk of injury. To maintain good posture, try to stand and sit up straight, keeping your shoulders back and your spine aligned. Avoid slouching or hunching over, especially when sitting for long periods.

4. Protect Your Joints During Exercise

While exercise is beneficial for joint health, it’s important to protect your joints from injury during physical activity. Make sure to warm up before exercising to increase blood flow to the muscles and joints, and always use proper form to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your joints. Additionally, wearing supportive footwear and using appropriate equipment can help reduce the risk of injury.

5. Ditch The Heels

They say beauty is pain, but we’re not sure we agree. Experts say a 3-inch heel stresses your foot seven times more than a 1-inch heel. In addition, heels put extra stress on your knees and may increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis. If you do choose to wear heels, do it sparingly and pay attention to any discomfort or pain in your joints. Ignoring joint pain can lead to further damage and may require more extensive interventions down the road.

6. Incorporate Joint-Supportive Supplements

Certain supplements can help support joint health and reduce inflammation, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are commonly found in foods like fish, shellfish, and green leafy vegetables, but they can also be taken in supplement form for added convenience. Strong joints and overall joint health will benefit from calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, folic acid, and more.

7. Don’t Ignore The Pain

Some believe the notion that it is easier to ignore pain than it is to get treated. It is important to know that early detection and treatment for your joint pain can significantly improve joint health long-term. Seeking treatment can help to diagnose underlying problems you aren’t aware of, along with devising an appropriate treatment plan. 

Contact South Shore Orthopedics

Taking care of your joints is essential for maintaining mobility and overall quality of life, especially as you age. South Shore Orthopedics is a multi-subspeciality orthopedic practice that serves patients on the South Shore and in the Boston area using the latest proven techniques in surgery and rehabilitation. We want you to be informed and involved in the decision-making process regarding your care, from pre-operative preparation to rehabilitation protocols. If you have more questions about safeguarding your joints, call South Shore Orthopedics at (781) 337-5555 to schedule an appointment