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PAIN RELIEF

How Can I Improve My Joint Health?

If you’re like most people, you take for granted the health of your joints. But according to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States.

And while there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to joint health, following a few simple tips can help you maintain optimal joint health. Here are 5 ways to improve your joint health: Buy Arctic Blast

  1. First, make sure that you are getting the recommended amounts of exercise.
  2. Second, make sure that your joints are kept warm and dry.
  3. Third, make sure that you eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  4. Fourth, take ibuprofen or other NSAIDs as needed for pain relief but do not overuse them as they can cause serious side effects.
  5. Fifth, reduce your exposure to irritants such as smoke and chemicals.
  6. Lastly, do not let your joints go untreated as they are a major cause of pain and inflammation.

The good news is that all of these tips can be put into practice immediately to help minimize joint pain and promote healthy bones, muscles and tendons.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Keeping your weight within a healthy range is the best thing you can do for your joints. Weight-bearing joints such as your knees, hips, and back support your body weight.

That’s why so many overweight people have problems with these areas; those joints are under added pressure from carrying the extra weight.

Stay Active

Regular exercise helps your joints work as they should, eases stiffness, and relieves fatigue. It strengthens the muscles that support your joints. An extra perk: It cuts your odds of heart disease.

Another important note: Couch potatoes, computer addicts, and people who sit in a chair all day have a high risk for joint pain.

Less movement means more stiffness in your joints. So get up and get moving. Change positions frequently.

Take frequent breaks at work. Stretch or go for a short walk. If you can’t leave the office, try taking phone calls while walking around.

Build Muscles

Strong muscles support your joints. If you don’t have enough muscle, your joints take a pounding, especially your spine, hips, and knees.

Weight-training exercises help build muscle and keep your muscles and surrounding ligaments strong.

That way your joints don’t have to do all the work. A certified personal trainer can show you the best exercises for healthy joints and how to do them correctly.

Strengthen Your Core

Make sure your exercise routine includes activities that strengthen your core. That includes your glutes, back, abs, and obliques.

Stronger abs and back muscles help you keep your balance and prevent falls that can damage your joints.

Stop Smoking

Reducing joint pain is just one more reason to quit. Recent studies have found that smokers are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis and other joint pains.

So make it a point to quit or at least cut down on the amount you smoke.

Perfect Your Posture

Slouching is not good for your joints. Standing and sitting up straight protect your joints from your neck to your knees.

Good posture also helps guard your hip joints and back muscles. Posture is also important when lifting and carrying.

For example, if you use a backpack, be sure to put it over both shoulders instead of slinging it over one. Being lopsided puts more stress on your joints.

When you lift, keep your back straight and your feet wide apart to protect your shoulder, hip, and knee joints. Always bend from your knees and hips, not your back.

Try to use the biggest muscles in your body, like your legs and glutes, to prevent straining the smaller muscle groups.

Avoid Overusing Smaller Joints

Use your large, strong joints to spare smaller, fragile ones. Try these tips:

Use an over-the-shoulder bag instead of a clutch or handbag. Hold grocery bags in your arms or use the shoulder straps of green bags.

Hold small items in your palms instead of your fingers. Use both hands and your shoulder to open heavy doors. Hold items with two hands instead of one.

Protect Your Body and Prevent Injuries

Make sure you always wear a helmet, knee pads, and elbow and wrist pads when taking part in high-risk activities, including work-related activities such as repetitive kneeling or squatting.

Even if you think you’re a pro on a bicycle or Rollerblades, you should never go without safety gear. Hit the wrong bump in the road, and you could be headed for a lifetime of trouble.

Serious injuries or several minor injuries can damage cartilage, leading to long-term joint problems. Elbow and wrist braces, or guards, also help reduce stress on your joints during activities.

Ice

Ice is a great drug-free pain reliever. It also helps relieve joint swelling. If you have a sore joint, apply ice wrapped in a towel or a cold pack to the painful area for no more than 20 minutes.

Don’t have ice or a cold pack? Try wrapping a bag of frozen vegetables (peas work best!) in a light towel. Never apply ice directly to the skin.

Eat the Right Foods

Eating a healthy diet is good for your joints because it reduces inflammation and helps build strong bones and muscles.

For your muscles, you need to get enough protein. Exactly how much depends on your age, sex, and how active you are.

Good sources include lean meats, chicken, fish, seafood, beans, legumes, and nuts. You also need vitamin D and calcium to keep your bones and joints in good health.

Many people don’t get enough of these nutrients. Both are important for strong bones and healthy joints and help prevent osteoporosis.

Cut Out Foods That May Inflame Joints

Common foods that cause the most inflammation include sugar, dairy, wheat/gluten, alcohol, and fried foods. Remove these foods from your diet to cut down on swelling and inflammation.

Drink Plenty of Water

When you are dehydrated, you reduce the amount of fluid cushioning all your joints. Because joints are made up of synovial fluid, it is imperative that we drink plenty of water to keep these joints hydrated and mobile.

By following these tips, you can keep your joints in top condition for a long healthy life!

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