Healthy Lifestyle Tips to Maintain Your Joint Health
Chronic joint pain can occur because of a number of conditions—arthritis, lupus, gout, fibromyalgia, and aging, for example, can all result in pain and decreased mobility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 58.5 million adults in the United States are diagnosed with joint pain each year.
Luckily, there are some healthy lifestyle changes you can make that will help you maintain your joint health over the course of your lifetime. You can also reduce your symptoms and improve your overall joint function with these methods.
Watching Your Weight
Obesity can greatly affect your joint health, as well as your bone health. If your body mass index (BMI) is in the overweight category, you should consider losing a few pounds.
When you’re carrying around too much weight, this can result in your joints breaking down. It’s tough to lose weight when you’re already dealing with joint issues, but a proper diet and workout routine will not only reduce your pain but will also increase your joint lifespan in the long run.
Engaging in Regular Exercise
Not only can exercise help you lose weight, but it can also help you strengthen your joints and increase their flexibility. You can use certain exercises to relieve any stiffness that you may be experiencing while increasing blood flow to these areas.
Following a Healthy Diet
Diet plays a big role in how your joints feel and function. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that may help repair the damage that has occurred to your joints, as well as prevent further damage from occurring.
You can protect your joints by avoiding foods like trans-fats, processed foods, refined sugars, and alcohol. Smoking can also cause an increase in joint inflammation, so make sure that you’re in the process of quitting if you haven’t already. You can also supplement your diet with omega-3 fatty acids if you don’t feel like you consume enough fish, nuts, or soy.
Keeping Track of Your Stress Levels
Stress can have a major impact on how we feel in regard to joint health. When we are stressed, our body releases chemicals that affect our immune system. Stress can also increase the inflammation that is already present in our body, which affects joint health.
Whether you’re dealing with stress at work or at home, it’s important that you find ways to deal with that stress effectively. Consider learning how to meditate, or practice deep breathing exercises to calm your mind and nervous system.
If you have additional questions about how you can maintain your joint pain, reach out to the practice of Matthew D. Barber, M.D., by calling (251) 410-3600 or contacting us online to book an appointment.
While Dr. Barber focuses exclusively on the management of knee and hip problems with a focus on joint replacement procedures, he is proud to be a source of information for patients and has several specialist partners at ALABAMA ORTHOPAEDIC CLINIC who are available to treat any orthopedic condition.