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How To Keep Your Joints Healthy & Pain Free!
Keep your joints healthy!

What Are Joints Exactly?

A joint is where two or more bones meet and allow for movement. The ends of the bones found here are covered with a slippery layer called cartilage that allows them to glide over each other as they move (rather than grinding together). We also have a layer of fluid between our joints that helps to protect them!

 

Why Is Joint Health So Important?

Our joints allow us to move and navigate through life, yet we often take them for granted. That is, until we start to feel those dreaded aches, niggles, & pains. Joint pain affects the lives of more than 10 million people across the UK, and around 66.9% of those people state that this has a marked impact on their mental health.

So, what can we do to keep our joints healthy in the first place?

 

Exercise For Joint Health:

Shed Any Extra Weight:

We are all unique, and so is our ideal weight. This figure will vary drastically from person to person based on factors like age, sex, and height. There is one thing we all have in common though, and that is that carrying extra weight will put additional pressure on our joints.

 

Build Some Muscle:

Muscles are attached to tendons which are attached to bones. When we move, our muscles contract or relax, this pulls on tendons, which in turn pull our bones in certain directions. Strengthening muscle groups around joints helps to support them. It can even help reduce pain, and help regain motion in uncomfortably affected joints! 

Reduce Your Impact:

Low impact exercise like swimming, cycling, walking, and yoga are great for reducing the stress put on your joints, and are often recommended for those who already suffer from joint pain. 

Wearing braces, tape, and wraps that aid in supporting your muscles and joints during exercise or repetitive actions can also help maintain your joint health.  These tools have been known to reduce joint pain and reduce the risk of injury.

Improve Your Flexibility & Correct Your Posture:

Exercise routines like yoga and pilates are great for regaining some function in those sore joints. They also help increase your overall flexibility which actually reduces the risk of injury to your muscles and joints! 

These types of exercise also aim to improve your posture, which in turn will reduce unnecessary stress on certain joint and muscle groups.

Warm Up, Stretch, & Cool Down: 

It is important not to stretch cold muscles and joints as this can lead to injury. Instead it is recommended that you warm up your body with around 5 minutes of gentle exercise before stretching, and you should always stretch before you begin your main exercise routine. Don’t forget to cool down at the end of your workout too!

 

Diet For Joint Health:

Anti-Inflammatory Food & Drink:

Inflammation can cause swelling and tenderness in joints. There is evidence that some food and drink can actually help to reduce this inflammation. Try to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods like berries, fatty fish, avocados, green tea, mushrooms, and turmeric into your diet for better joint health. 

Vitamins & Minerals:

Fish is a source of Omega-3 which has been identified as an important nutrient in the prevention of joint pain. If you aren’t a fan of fish, you can always take Omega-3 vitamin capsules! 

Other nutrients like Calcium and Vitamin D also play a vital role in joint health. So make sure you are hitting your recommended daily intake of these nutrients if you want to minimise your risk of joint pain. As many as 1 in 5 adults in the UK aren’t getting enough Vitamin D, so make sure you aren’t one of them!

Supplements:

Glucosamine and chondroitin are the two most commonly taken supplements for joint pain. These nutrients make up components of cartilage, the slippery lining that coats the ends of our bones in our joints. This prevents the bones from grinding against each other as we move causing pain.

Stay Hydrated:

Drinking plenty of water is vital for your overall health, but it can also reduce inflammation and improve the production of synovial fluid which cushions our joints.

 

Protect Your Joint Health:

Quit Smoking: 

We all know smoking is bad for you. It increases your risk of various states of ill-health, including those affecting your bones & joints.  Smoking also impacts your ability to recover from an injury or surgery, prolonging any pain you may experience.

Spread or Reduce Your Load:

When carrying heavy items, make sure to spread the load evenly over your body. Don’t put strain on one joint in particular. Always follow best practice guidelines for carrying heavy loads, and ask for help when it is needed. 

Know Your Limits:

Don’t over exert yourself. You know your limits better than anyone else. When exercising, don’t push yourself too hard or you could risk damage to your bones, muscles, and joints.

Rest Up:

Studies have shown that poor sleep can make joint pain worse, and can significantly impact your mood. If you’re struggling with sleep, make sure to speak to your doctor. 

When exercising, it is important to take rest days. If your joints are in pain or swollen, take an extra day or two to let them heal before exercising again. 

 

What If I Already Have Joint Pain?

Prevention is always the best cure when it comes to health. However, it is important to note that although we can give ourselves the best chance of staying healthy, this isn’t always possible. There are numerous factors like genetics that affect our health that are sometimes out of our control. 

If you are affected by a muscle, bone, or joint condition, these tips can help ease your pain and promote mobility. However, it is important to consult with your doctor before making any major lifestyle changes, as they may not be right for everyone.

 

If you are concerned about your bone, muscle, or joint health, JACE Medical offer a blood test that can screen for the most common markers of injury or ill-health. Click here to view our full range of blood screening packages.

If you need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to email us at hello@jacemedical.co.uk or call us on +44 (0) 333 40 41 999.

 

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