If you already suffer from aching/weak joints or arthritis, it is crucial that you prioritise your joint health. Your joints are essential for helping you maintain mobility in your body, allowing you to move freely. Without the correct care, bone cartilage will suffer wear and tear, causing your bones to rub together. This can lead to a lot of discomfort. So, what can we do to keep our joints healthy and avoid this problem? This guide by Echelon Health will tell you everything you need to know.
How To Keep Joints Healthy
Your joints are the connections between your bones. When paired with a surrounding structure, they play a vital role in our bodies. They aid our mobility, helping us bend our knees, elbows, neck, and much more. Taking care of your joint health is essential if you suffer from joint pain, weak joints, arthritis, or other joint and bone-related conditions.
Situations like these weaken our joints, which can lead to painful symptoms. To avoid this, there are a few things we can do to aid joint health, such as maintaining a healthy weight and getting the correct nutrients into our diet. In this guide, we will explore some of the following tips in more detail:
- Regular exercise
- Protecting your joints
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Weight training
- Supplements for joints
- Flexibility training
- Food good for joints
For more information, please browse our plethora of articles on healthy living advice.
Although engaging in regular exercise may be the last thing you want to do when you have joint pain, it can aid your recovery and keep your joints healthy. Walking, cycling, and swimming are some great examples. These exercises can help thicken your joint cartilage, minimising the risk of wear and tear. They are also enjoyable, and you can exercise with a friend, so you do not feel alone.
Regular exercise is particularly beneficial for those who have arthritis. Not only does it reduce pain, but it also relieves any joint stiffness that you may be experiencing. This is because the muscles around your joints become stronger, easing swelling, and decreasing bone loss. Ideally, you will engage in low-impact exercises like bike riding and swimming.
Protect Your Joints
Everyone needs to protect their joints, not just those suffering from pain or a bone-related condition. The important thing to remember when protecting your joints is not to overdo it. After all, we are not trying to cause ourselves further discomfort. In fact, we should do everything we can to achieve the opposite. Take a look at some of our top tips below regarding how to protect your joints:
- Avoid strenuous activities that increase joint pain
- Focus on your posture
- Listen to your pain signals
- Ice your joints when they are painful
- Explore assistive devices and mobility aids
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is ideal for preserving your joint health. When we carry additional body weight, it increases pressure on our joints. This can lead to issues such as arthritis, as your bone cartilage will gradually start to wear down, causing your bones to rub together.
If you are currently over your ideal body weight, engaging in regular exercise and eating a balanced diet can aid weight loss. You will often find that your joint pain and stiffness will reduce as you lose weight. If you struggle to maintain a balanced diet, consult with a doctor who may be able to refer you to a dietician. You can learn more about the importance of healthy eating by reading our blog.
You must maintain the strength of your muscles if you want to improve your joint strength and function. You can achieve this through strengthening exercises like weight training and going to the gym. Take a look at some of our example exercises below:
- Lunges (3 sets of 5 repetitions on each side)
- Side-lying leg lifts (2 sets of 10 repetitions on each side)
- Thigh contractions (3 sets of 15 seconds with each leg)
- Airplane (warrior) pose (hold for 10 – 30 seconds. Do 3 repetitions on each side)
You can find plenty more exercises like these, along with some tutorials online. It is important not to overdo it with these exercises. Listen to your pain signals. If you experience discomfort, stop what you are doing and pick it up again another day.
Supplements For Joints
It is important to have bone-strengthening vitamins in your diet to help care for your joints and prevent bone-related disease. Taking supplements rich in the following nutrients is very beneficial for your joint health:
- Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that reduces joint inflammation.
- Vitamin D: Helps maintain strong bones and healthy muscles.
- Omega-3: Found in oily fish, omega-3 can ease symptoms of inflammatory arthritis.
- Calcium: Keeps bones strong, helping reduce joint inflammation and pain.
You can also take multivitamins that include vitamin D and calcium. Not getting enough of these vitamins in your diet can increase your risk of developing a chronic disease like osteoporosis.
For more information, please read our article on preventing and diagnosing osteoporosis.
Flexibility is not something that comes naturally to all of us. However, learning to improve your flexibility will allow you to move at your discretion – without feeling stiff and achy. Flexibility training can offer your joints many benefits. Not only does it help you feel good within yourself, but it will also allow you to become more agile. Some exercises can help you with this, such as yoga, tai chi, and daily stretching. They can help you improve your overall bone health and relieve pain. Below – are some examples that will help you improve your flexibility:
- Maintaining good posture
- Sitting on the floor
- Engaging in stretch routines
- Acknowledging areas that need attention
Foods Good For Joints
Exercise and supplements are not the only ways in which you can improve joint health. Eating a balanced diet rich in healthy fruits and vegetables is crucial. Take a look at the list of healthy foods for joints below:
- Seeds and nuts
- Brassica vegetables, e.g., Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli.
- Fruit, e.g., pineapple and blueberries.
- Dark chocolate
- Lentils and beans
If you struggle to get these foods into your everyday diet, don’t hesitate to consult with your doctor. They may be able to refer you to a dietician who can help you create healthy meal plans.
Joint care at Echelon Health
At Echelon Health we understand that our clients are individuals and that some health issues occur due to various genetic predispositions and lifestyles. You all lead different lifestyles and have various hobbies. All these factors affect your body in different ways. As a result, we have created our flagship Platinum Assessment which looks at your body head-to-toe and leaves no stone unturned.
This of course includes your joints and muscles. We have a specific scan that we use to look at joint, muscle and skeletal issues that we explore in a lot of detail in a previous blog.
However, we know that only by using the right modality for the right area for your body will you be able to have the most comprehensive results. That is why Echelon Health combines the use of the best imaging technology currently available and years of medical expertise and unparalleled customer service which allows you to experience the best of preventive health. Through our platinum assessment We are able to detect up to 92% and 95% of preventable causes of death among men and women and see tumours as small as 2mm.
Below you can see what tests and scans are included in our Platinum package:
- Blood Tests
- CT Aorta
- CT Heart
- CT Coronary Angiogram
- CT Chest
- CT Pelvis
- CT Virtual Colonoscopy
- CT Bone Density
- CT Upright Skeleton
- MRI Brain
- MRI Cerebral Artery Angiogram
- MRI Carotid Artery Angiogram
- MRI Prostate
- Ultrasound Thyroid
- Ultrasound Testes/Ovaries
- Digital Mammogram
- Full Body Mole Screen
If you would like to find out more information of what to expect from your day at Echelon Health and how a preventive screening can help you understand your health and improve your wellbeing do not hesitate to contact us.