Our joints are pretty amazing things when you think about it. While we take these important structures for granted, a little care and attention now and again can make a big difference.
As an Ealing chiropractor, I see plenty of people at our clinic who have longstanding joint issues and one of the questions I am regularly asked is how to keep these vital areas of the body in great condition.
We often get confused with the concept of ‘wear and tear’ when it comes to our joints. This is not an entirely beneficial phrase as it suggest that there is nothing much you can do about any problems.
We say our pain is all down to old age and those poor joints are just a little worn down and less effective than they used to be. We pop a few pain killers and get on with our day.
Actually, there is plenty you can do to maintain good joint health throughout your life and improve a situation where you feel pain or discomfort.
Maintain the Right Weight
Being overweight essentially puts pressure on your joints. A beer belly, for example, will put extra stress on our back, hips and knees. Carrying that extra weight in front of you usually means that you have to adjust your posture to compensate which can put your body out of alignment.
If you are currently overweight, then losing a few pounds will make a huge difference particularly if you already suffer from lower back pain or have discomfort in your hips or knee joints.
Low Impact Exercise is Good for Joints
If you suffer from something like rheumatoid arthritis, it can be difficult finding exercises that work for you and which don’t put too much stress on the body. Low impact activities like swimming, yoga and Pilates are ideal for maintaining good joint health.
Even if you don’t have arthritis, regular stretching and working those joints gently can make a huge difference to your body and your sense of wellbeing. Another great, low impact activity that is good for the joints is walking, of course, and it’s free.
Strengthen Muscles Around Your Joints
A little strength training can also help develop the muscles that surround your joints. We’re not talking about lifting heavy weights in a gym here but using something like a couple of 2Kg dumbbells to tone your muscles.
Eat a Healthy Diet
We all know, at least deep down, that a balanced diet is beneficial to our health. If you want to maintain your joints into old age and reduce any potential problems now or in the future, pay special attention to what you put in your body.
We also all know the consequences of smoking. If you still like to light up, remember that it increases your likelihood of developing conditions such as osteoporosis and the potential for injuries like tendonitis or bursitis.
Pay Attention to Joint Pain
One thing I would say is that, if you have a pain in the joints, don’t put it down to simple ‘wear and tear’. It is important to get it seen to by a professional – either your local chiropractor or your GP or suitably qualified health professional. Many problems get worse because there isn’t early enough intervention. People just put up with their pain or lack of movement, thinking they can’t do anything about it.
Our joints are extremely important, and we should all take more care of them. These simple changes to your lifestyle will actually make a huge difference to your joint health.
If you are currently experiencing discomfort, lack of movement or pain in your joints, contact our Ealing chiropractor today to book an appointment at The Spine & Joint Centre.