Specialties

  • Tips for Healthy Joints

  • The tips listed below may help guard your joints against injury.  As with anything, common sense is a big factor in joint protection.

    Maintain a good body weight

    Your joints support your weight. Keeping your weight within the guidelines specific to you will lessen the wear and tear and pressure on your joints.It is said that every pound you gain adds four pounds of pressure on your joints.  Talk to your doctor about a weight range that is good for you.

    Develop and maintain an exercise program

    There are many different ways to exercise.   First, talk to your doctor to make sure activities you have in mind will be okay for you.   Low-impact exercises such as swimming, biking, walking will be much kinder to your joints.  Avoid higher impact exercise such as running and step aerobics.  Whatever exercise you decide, start slow and build up.  Develop a routine and stick to it. It is important you warm up your muscles and joints prior to the start of any exercise.  Stay away from long periods of TV watching or computer work.

    Build muscles and bone strength to support your joints

    Strong muscles and bones help support and protect your joints.  Weight training exercise help build up your muscles and strengthen your bones.  Before you start any weight training program be sure to get help from a therapist or certified trainer.  They will be able to show you the best exercises to use and how to do them correctly.

    Eat healthy

    Portion control will help you lose any excess pounds and maintain a healthy body weight.   Eat foods high in calcium and vitamin D.  Foods high in calcium, are dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, milk and other foods such as spinach, kale, okra, salmon, perch and sardines.  Foods high in vitamin D:  salmon, foods fortified with Vitamin D such as orange juice and soy milk.  Eat foods with Omega 3 fatty acids.  Salmon, mackerel, oysters, tuna, walnuts, flaxseed and oatmeal are just some examples of foods high in Omega 3. 

    Use it or lose it 

    Range of motion and stretching is an important daily activity.  Take time to move and stretch your fingers, wrists, shoulders, ankles, back etc. to keep them limber.   Take stretch breaks throughout the day.

    Wear comfortable shoes

    Shoes should provide a good arch support, be flexible, and should have a round or square toe so that toes are not pinched and can move around.  For those of you who like to wear heels, it is suggested you wear a very low heel.  Experts say a three-inch heel stresses your foot seven times more than a one-inch heel. In addition, heels put extra stress on your knees.

    Maintain posture

    Good posture helps protect your muscles from stress of overwork and your joints from injury.   Slouching in a chair or when standing puts pressure on your joints.  Good posture will help your muscles and joints relax.

    Ask Our Librarian

    For further information on this topic or other medical topics contact Tina Slanc, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services Medical Librarian, at: (719)-776-5288 or kristinaslanc@centura.org.

    References:

    http://www.arthritis.org/

    http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/calcium-vitamin-d-foods

    http://www.webmd.com/diet/your-omega-3-family-shopping-list