Your joints need protection and care, just like any other part of your body. After all, your weight-bearing joints – spine, hips, and knees – take the load of your whole body weight. Additionally, a condition known as osteoarthritis can occur when the cartilage that cushions your joints can break down.
It’s extremely important that we take care of our joints, as once the cartilage is damaged it can’t heal. However, you can ease the pain and protect the remaining cartilage.
So what are some things you can do to help protect your joints? How can you reduce the impact on your joints?
1. Mobility is Everything
Keeping your joints active and mobile is key when it comes to reducing pain and stiffness. After all, stiffness will continue to make way for more stiffness.
However, keeping your joints mobile can be a bit difficult if they are hurting. So try some low-impact exercises like bending and stretching. Aerobic exercise is also great when it comes to protecting your joints.
Regular exercise that gets your heart pumping will boost your blood flow, which keeps cartilage well nourished. And an extra benefit: it helps you reach a healthy weight. The more weight you lose, the more pressure you take off the joints in your knees! This can help slow the progress of arthritis and reduce pain.
Although it can be difficult to exercise when you’re hurting, research shows that pain and stiffness get worse when you aren’t active enough.
2. Build Stronger Muscles Around Your Joints
Staying active is crucial when it comes to protecting your joints, but so are strong muscles. After all, strong muscles around your joints can help your body absorb some of the shocks that normally go through your joint when you move around during the day.
If you have stronger muscles, it will prevent your joints from the shock that occurs when you walk or move. So try to build up the muscles around your joints through strength training.
To improve symptoms in your knee, for example, strengthen the quadriceps muscles, which are in the front of your thigh.
3. Stretch Everyday
As I mentioned above, mobility is key when it comes to protecting your joints. Stretching every day will help you improve your ability to move your joints. This not only fights stiffness but also helps protect the cartilage from more wear and tear.
The more your joints move, the more the cartilage gets nourished by the joint fluids. This is why yoga or pilates is a great exercise when it comes to protecting your joints.
So try joining a yoga class or do a stretching routine at home.
When it comes to protecting your joints, staying active is key. Swimming (along with yoga) is one of the best exercises you can participate in for your joints.
Because water supports your joints, keeping them weightless, swimming is the perfect way to keep your joints mobile and build up muscle strength. This, in turn, protects your joints from strain.
While strength training is the best way for you to cut your risk of osteoporosis, swimming helps take the pressure off your joints which can reduce pain.
The Takeaway: The Top Ways To Protect Your Joints
All in all, exercise is the best way to protect your joints and prevent wear and tear. Strength training is highly recommended if you want to reduce your risk of osteoporosis and arthritis.
If you are interested in learning more about joint protection, I encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our trusted practitioners at SHIN Wellness. We offer many other holistic treatments such as decompression therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, neurofeedback, psychology, Reiki, nutrition, massage, rolfing and corrective exercise. If you need some help figuring out what service is right for you, try our personalized consultation.