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How to Stay Active While Protecting Your Joints

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You may have experienced joint pain, if not frequently, then at least occasionally. As you get old, your joints may get weak, and if you don’t take precautions early on, you may suffer the aftermath. Moreover, if you don’t protect your joints after injury, it may cause permanent health problems and prevent the repair of your bones.

Joint Function and Joint Pain

Joints are spots where your bones meet, and they consist of muscles, bones, ligaments, and cartilage that help support and move around your body weight.

There are many possible reasons why you might experience joint pain or damage, one of the most common causes being osteoarthritis. Other possible sources of pain include gout, rickets, injury, cancer, and osteoporosis, among others. Common symptoms of joint pain include:

  • Joint swelling
  • Joint redness
  • Joint warmth
  • Limping
  • Stiffness
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Joint-safe Activities

If you still want to stay active despite experiencing joint pain, it’s best to focus on low-impact exercises that don’t put too much pressure on your bones and joints:

  • Swimming– Water provides buoyancy, resulting in less stress and strain on your joints and bones.
  • Bicycling– When you cycle, your body weight doesn’t bear down on your lower body. Still, you can burn off calories and strengthen your leg muscles.
  • Walking– Walking is another low-impact activity that doesn’t overexert your knees to carry your weight as running does.

Joint Stretches and Exercises

To manage existing joint pain, you can try some of these exercises and stretches: 

  • Shoulder Rolls– Stand up straight, keeping your arms to your side. Roll your shoulders back for five counts and then forwards for five counts.
  • Quadriceps Stretch– Take a yoga mat, and lie down on your right side. Grab your right leg by using your right hand and pull it towards your buttocks. Hold the position for 20 counts and then switch to the other leg.
  • Knee to Chest Stretch– Lay on your back with your right leg bent and foot flat on the bed. Put your hands behind your left leg and draw it in towards your chest. Hold the position for 30 seconds and switch to the next leg.
  • Finger Extensions– For joint pain in your hand, place a rubber band around the tips of your fingers and try to open your palm. Do this about 10 to 15 times.
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Workplace Ergonomics

To protect your joints, it’s essential that you make your workplace arthritis-friendly. To prevent or alleviate joint pain, make changes and corrections to your officer furniture. You can invest in these ergonomic products to make your workplace more comfortable:

  • Office Chair– Pick a chair that provides natural lumbar support (curve in the back of the chair), has wheels, a headrest, and sits at the right height so you don’t have to strain your neck and back.
  • Computer Keyboards and Mice– Ergonomic keyboards and mice can keep your arm and forearms in its natural position, helping to alleviate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Monitor Stands– A monitor stand can help raise your monitor to reach your eye level; this way, you won’t have to strain your neck and eyes to focus on your computer screen. 
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Diets and Supplements

You can also support your joints by making sure you get all the right vitamins and nutrients

  • Collagen– As you begin to age, your body’s production of collagen declines slows. Collagen, a protein, gives structure to your bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. If you don’t consume or produce enough collagen, you can experience joint pain and, eventually, arthritis. You can get more collagen in your body by eating collagen-rich foods, such as dairy products, meat, citrus fruits, and green leafy vegetables. Apart from this, you can also try collagen protein supplements to boost your body’s collagen production.
  • Turmeric– Using these supplements may also reduce joint pain because of the pain-relieving effects of curcumin, found in turmeric. Curcumin also has anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce tenderness and joint pain.
  • Fish Oil– The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can reduce symptoms of joint pain, as well as rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • Chondroitin- As significant cartilage building bock, chondroitin may prevent the break down of cartilage in the body. Studies show that using chondroitin can reduce stiffness and joint pain in people with osteoarthritis.
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Take it Easy

Even though you may want to continue your usual activities, your body may not be able to handle as much pressure. Once you realize that you have joint pain, try low-impact exercises and nutritious diets that can improve your condition. By taking it easy now, you can reduce the risk of injuries or more serious conditions down the road.