A joint refers to the areas where two or more bones meet. Our joints play an integral role in our lives but when we damage them, they can quickly make simple tasks a lot more difficult. In some cases, long-term joint aggravation and pain can lead to conditions such as arthritis.
A Brief Intro to Joints
The body is made up of three types of joints, namely: synovial, fixes and slightly moveable joints.
Fixed joints are held together by fibrous tissue and don’t move – the skull is an example of this.
Slightly movable joints are capable of some movement – the spine is an example of this.
Synovial joints are the most common type of joint in the body – the elbow and hips are examples of this.
Synovial fluid pads, synovium and cartilage are what prevent your bones from rubbing together but lifestyle habits, injury and age can cause wear and tear, which is what leads to pain and other problems such as arthritis.
6 Ways to Keep Your Joints in Great Condition
- Make movement a priority
Yes, exercise is great but it’s just as important to move on a regular basis. If you have a desk job, you’re at greater risk of developing problems with your joints. By making a point of getting up and walking around every hour or two, you’re one step closer to protecting your joints and muscles over the long term. Exercise will also improve circulation and remove any damaged cells in your joints. If you are in pain, low-impact exercises can help alleviate any discomfort.
- Seek help when it’s necessary
If you’ve been experiencing pain in joints such as your hips, knees and shoulders for several weeks or months, it’s important that you seek the help of a specialist at one of the Western Orthopaedics clinics in Sydney sooner rather than later. The longer you ignore your symptoms, the higher the chances of permanently damaging your joints.
- Stay hydrated
Did you know that around 60% of your cartilage is made up of water? It’s for this reason that it’s incredibly important to stay hydrated if you’re experiencing joint pain. By staying hydrated, your body is able to produce enough synovial fluid, which is responsible for lubricating the joints.
- Pay attention to your posture
When you slouch, you place a lot of additional pressure on your joints, which often leads to an increase in joint, neck and back pain. Over time, poor posture can also affect the alignment of your spine, which only leads to further pain and stress on the joints.
- Work on your muscles
The more muscle you have, the less strain you place on your joints. Incorporating resistance and weight training into your exercise routines will go a long way in protecting your joints over the long term. Place a particular focus on the muscles around your hip and knee joints for the best results.
- Think twice about your diet
Believe it or not but the foods you eat also have an impact on the health of your joints. Incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet will help prevent joint pain caused by inflammation. Boosting your calcium levels is something else that you can do to promote joint health.