Sometimes, no matter how well you take care of yourself, you will begin to feel aches and pains affecting your joints. You may be experiencing joint pain now. If you follow some or all of these lifestyle changes for better joint care, you may begin to notice that joint pain is soon only a memory.
If your family has a history of joint pain, you may not be able to avoid it. However, your lifestyle and the things you do can greatly influence how much joint pain you experience. Which of these changes can you make to improve your own joint health?
– Carrying extra weight can be part of the cause of joint pain or at least aggravate it. For every 10 pounds of body weight, your body experiences an extra 30 to 70 pounds of pressure on joints in the feet, ankles, and knees with each step you take. If you decide to start running, the extra weight increases dramatically.
– Start doing non-impact exercises. Walking, swimming or water aerobics, yoga and bicycling are exercises that will not put undue stress on your joints. Not only will exercising help you lose weight, but it also releases endorphins that ease the pain as well as improve your mood. You can relax if you think you will have to spend hours in the gym. Research has shown that only 30 minutes of exercise each day can ease the pain of arthritis.
– Be aware of your posture as you sit, stand and walk. Proper posture can make a huge difference in preventing unneeded stress on your spine and lower back. It also reduces neck strain.
– If you spend much time on the computer, besides being aware of your posture, it would also help to move your keyboard forward to reduce strain on your shoulders, arms, and neck. Using a keyboard rest, orthopedic chair or other devices might also make your time in front of the computer less damaging to your joints.
– Get up and move around during the day if you have a sedentary job. If you simply cannot get away from your desk, stand up to stretch or bend over to touch your toes. Doing some type of stretching throughout the day will keep you supple.
– Use non-medication methods to help you control pain. Rather than reaching for painkillers, try a massage instead. Herbal baths can also be helpful in reducing pain. A number of herbs can be taken as a capsule or a tea that have pain-relieving qualities.
– Eat a healthy diet. People often do not realize how what they eat can affect their health. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet while reducing high-calorie, high-fat choices. Reports indicate certain foods can reduce joint pain. These foods include salmon due to the omega-3 fatty acids, extra virgin olive oil for the polyphenols it contains, as well as ginger and turmeric because they have anti-inflammatory properties.
If you have experienced pain lately, these small lifestyle changes can have an impact on how your joints feel. Decide which change you want to make first and see how this one change can reduce the pain you feel.