Does it hurt every time you stoop to pickup something? Do your legs hurt like hell if you have to take the stairs?
If the answer is yes, you are among the millions of people who suffer from joint pain every day. Joint pain is a common problem in the elderly.
However, younger age groups are becoming prone to joint pain in the recent times.
This change can be directly linked to unhealthy practices, bad food habits, and a lifestyle that is mentally tasking, but physically sedentary.
In fact, the problem starts developing in the late 20s and become worse with each passing year.
Joint pain can greatly affect the quality of life. You will not only be able to walk long distances or climb a lot of steps, carrying out daily chores will become difficult.
Resorting to pain killer meds can offer temporary relief, but if you want to live a pain-free life, it is imperative that you make lifestyle changes early on.
How to keep your joints healthy?
Avoiding joint pain becomes easy if you do the following:
Lose weight to have healthy joints
Extra weight can put more pressure on your joints. As such, joints that usually support your body weight, like your knees, back, hips, etc. will wear and tear faster if you are overweight.
Excess pressure on these joints for a prolonged period can cause pain in these joints.
So, the very first thing that you need to do is to get rid of that extra weight that you have gained over the years.
The leaner you are, happier your joints will be.
Exercises help keep your joints healthy. As you exercise, more blood reaches the joints and this helps prevent damage in the joints.
Exercising also helps in losing weight fast, which is good for your joints. Aerobic or cardio exercises are best for this purpose.
You can also combine weight training and strength training with your cardio routine. This is the perfect recipe for fast weight loss.
If you already have joint pain, it is best to avoid step aerobics, and opt for exercises like cycling, swimming, jogging, etc. that put less stress on your joints.
Stay on the move
Exercising 30-45 minutes every day will do no good if you become a couch potato for the rest of the day.
You have to move your joints frequently and that means that you have to go out.
Instead of ordering a delivery, opt for a takeaway. Don’t shop online; go out and buy what you need. This way, you will get some movement.
If your job involves a lot of sitting, make sure that you get up every 30-45 minutes and get a brief walk around the workspace.
This will prevent joint stiffness and keep your joints active and flexible.
Correct your posture
Many a time, joint pain, mainly in the back, hip, shoulders, knees, etc. occur because of incorrect posture.
Sloppy or slouched posture can create pressure imbalance in these joints which can lead to joint pain. You should always sit or stand upright.
While walking, keep your head up and shoulders wide. You should also take of your posture while carrying or lifting weight.
Never sling your bag on one shoulder or lift by bending your back. Use both shoulders to carry weight and your leg muscles for lifting weight.
While you focus on losing weight, don’t forget to pay attention to muscle building. Muscles are the support system of your skeletal system.
More muscles mean better support, and thus, less weight on your joints. Strong muscles carry your body weight without straining your joints.
Thus, joint pain occurs rarely. You should focus on strengthening muscles that support the knee and hip joints as they bear most of the body weight.
Core strengthening also improves body balance and reduces the risks of falls that can injure your joints.
If you want to improve your joint health, eating well is absolutely necessary. There are foods that are good for your joint health, but there are also foods that can make the joint pain worse.
So, it is vital that you watch out what you are eating.
Highly processed foods along with inflammatory foods such as dairy, sugar, meat, and saturated fat can make joint pain much worse.
On the other hand, foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains are anti-inflammatory and can prevent pain in the joints.
Intake of calcium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D in adequate amounts is also necessary for good bone health.
Though it may sound far-fetched but stress can affect your joints. Stress can trigger the body’s inflammatory reaction that may lead to swelling in the joints and affect mobility.
Stress levels can also affect collagen production, thus affecting joint health.
An easy way to get relief from the pain is to add some Epsom salts to a hot bath and soak yourself in it for some time. The Sulfate and magnesium present in the salts get absorbed and loosen stiff joints.
Take things easy
A common reason of joint pain is joint injury. This can occur due to a number of reasons.
People who are always in a hurry are prone to accidents like slip and fall.
The injury caused may lead to joint pain that persist for long. People who work out too much also strain their joints a lot.
If proper care is not taken during workouts, you may attain an injury that can cause pain. That is why, it is better to follow a moderate workout regime and not try to do too much too quickly.
You can also opt for low-impact workouts more as they do not strain your joints unnecessarily.
Take proper meds
If you have been prescribed meds by your doctor for your condition, never miss your meds.
Not taking your meds regularly can aggravate your condition and make it difficult for you to move.
You can also try OTC herbal soothers and ointments as they can relieve your pain.
Maintaining and improving joint health is imperative for mobility. So, adopt the necessary lifestyle changes today and enjoy a pain-free life.