Maintaining Joyful Joints

Our joints are one of those things that we don't pay all that much attention to- until they start playing up. Bad joints can affect mobility, make it difficult to sleep and prevent us from partaking in certain activities. Whilst they’re mostly a thing we associate with old age, many people can develop problems much earlier due to neglecting to look after these important body parts. Here are a few ways to keep your joints healthy and prevent injuries further down the line.

Wear The Right Shoes
Your everyday footwear can have serious effects on your leg joints, right the way up from your ankles to your hips. Heels can be particularly bad for your joints – if you’re wearing them every day to work you may want to limit their usage to one day a week and try experimenting with flats. Running and sports can also be bad for joints if you have the wrong footwear. Worn trainers should be thrown away and replaced with a fresh and effective pair. Orthopaedic trainers can be particularly effective if you’ve already got joint problems, also helping to prevent sprains and shin splints.

Slim Down
Carrying extra weight puts a strain on all your body. Those that are overweight are much more likely to develop joint problems earlier in life. Whilst slimming up is no easy job, this may be an extra incentive if you’re already aiming to shed the pounds.

Stay Flexible
Joints that aren’t regularly stretched out become stiff and the muscles surrounding them begin to weaken. Flexing your joints can be done statically or dynamically. Even taking the time to stretch and rotate your ankle whilst behind a desk or watching TV on the sofa can be more beneficial than not stretching at all. 

Seek Medical Help Early
If you think joint problems are already starting to set in, you may be able to treat them early or keep them from further developing by visiting a doctor or a chiropractor. There are various medicines available that can ease joint pain as well as joint pads and tape arrangement that can stop a joint injury from developing. Chiropractic treatment meanwhile involves massaging and manipulating the areas to increase joint movement. This can sometimes have an immediate effect and sometimes have a longer process. You can also look into holistic treatments such as acupuncture and hot stone massaging if you want to explore your options.

Fix Your Diet
Your diet can go some way to helping keep your joints healthy. Processed food and foods high in fat can be harmful for your joints. Alkaline-heavy food such as berries, avocado, spinach and ginger can meanwhile reduce inflammation. If you already have a joint problem, you should ask your doctor for any supplements that may be worth taking. Osteoarthritis for example can be treated by ingesting foods that are high in chondroitin sulphate, glucosamine and hyaluronic acid.

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