It’s easy to take our bodies for granted. You can walk, bend over, sit and stand, and maybe even run and dance. But one wrong step can change everything. Twist your ankle stepping off a curb and you may find yourself traveling through the airport in a wheelchair because you can’t walk.
As you get older, many people find they have more aches and pains than before. Often, it’s joint related and if left unchecked, can seriously hamper your activities.
There are a few ways you can maintain your joint health though, no matter your age.
How to Protect Your Joint Health
1- Maintain a healthy weight – There are so many health benefits to maintaining a healthy weight and joint health is a big one. Take your knees for instance. Every extra 10 pounds on your body is like another 20 pounds on your knee joints. That takes it’s toll after a while.
2- Stretch – According to researchers at Harvard University, it helps to move and stretch every 15 minutes. That helps keep the oxygen flowing through your body which carries nutrients and helps lubricate the joints. Stretching regularly also improves range of motion.
If you can incorporate a regular yoga class appropriate for your abilities, that’s also beneficial.
3- Create an ergonomic workstation – If you’re like most of us, you spend more time in front of screens that away from them. Not only is sitting for long periods unhealthy, but bending over a screen causes pain in the upper back, shoulders, and neck. Then there’s carpal tunnel pain a lot of people develop due to a lot of typing.
If you keep your screen at eye-level, that will help. If you have a laptop, you can raise it on a special laptop stand or even a stack of books and use an external mouse and keyboard. If you’re using a separate monitor, it’s easy to raise that on a shelf or books.
4- Get a massage – Therapeutic massage goes beyond just feeling good. It also helps reduce toxins and stimulate the blood flow throughout your body. A regular massage has many of the same benefits of stretching such as releasing tight muscles and improving range of motion.
5- Chiropractic care – Chiropractic care works well with massage to protect your joints and offer pain relief. The massage relaxes the muscles and the chiropractic adjustment re-aligns your spine which in turn, helps your whole body. In some cases, we don’t do a traditional adjustment but rely on other techniques like ultrasound and a TENS machine to help your joints and reduce pain.
6- Don’t overuse – If you have arthritis or consistent pain in certain joints, evaluate how you can make lifestyle changes to limit certain actions. For example, if it’s painful for you to chop vegetables, try to buy them pre-chopped.
Overall, there are many ways you can protect your joints. Hopefully, you can implement some or all of these suggestions before you’re in a lot of pain. If you’re in or near Doylestown, Pa. and would like to talk with a chiropractor about protecting your joints, we offer a free consultation.