Anyone putting their little toe in the waters of middle age has a glimmer of what joint pain feels like. It’s no fun. But there are things you can do to ease joint pain now and prevent future joint pain. Here are some joint-smart steps you can put into action:
Maintain a health weight. Carrying extra weight can cause significant joint pain over time, particularly in weight-bearing areas like the hips, knees, and ankles. Prevent problems now and down the line by maintaining a healthy weight. Talk with your doctor if you need help starting a weight-loss program.
Get regular exercise. Low-impact activities such as walking or hiking, swimming, and stationary cycling are great options for building bone-supporting muscles, keeping weight down, and improving joint mobility. Just 30 minutes a day can have a real impact on your long-term health and comfort. Exercise has been proved to ease arthritis pain, as well.
Keep your skeletal system strong. Help prevent osteoporosis (more common in women) by getting plenty of calcium, which you’ll find in dairy products and leafy green vegetables or in supplement form. Calcium builds bone density and makes bones less susceptible to arthritis. Consider reducing or eliminating caffeine, as it can weaken your bone structure.
Eat more fish. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce joint pain and stiffness in people suffering from arthritis. If you don’t love fish, take fish oil supplements instead.
Get plenty of vitamin C. Vitamin C may help speed the recovery of damaged muscles by repairing tissues, easing joint pain. These 10 fruits and veggies are rich in vitamin C: oranges, guava, red bell peppers, kiwi, grapefruit, vegetable juice cocktail, oranges, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, and cantaloupe.
Wear sensible shoes. OK. We know that one’s no fun. But joint pain is a high price to pay for fashion. Eschew the high heels and look instead for flexible shoes that provide support. You want the shoe to bend with your foot as you walk. These days, there are plenty of good-looking shoes out there that will be kind to your feet and joints.
Already experiencing joint pain? If you put our suggestions to the test and still feel the pain, make an appointment to see us at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center.
Do you suffer from joint pain? If so, what treatments have worked best for you? We welcome your questions and feedback in the comments section below.