Maintaining Healthy Joints

Jun 3, 2024 | Bedroom Aids, Ageing, Blog Articles

You don’t need to overhaul your entire lifestyle to keep your joints in good shape. With just a bit of extra care and attention, you can avoid bad habits that lead to long-term problems. A little effort goes a long way in relieving and preventing joint pain, maintaining healthy joints, and making your life more comfortable and active.

Common Habits That Harm Your Joints

Everyone experiences joint pain occasionally, but for some, it’s a constant issue. Whether it affects your hands, knees, or ankles, joint pain can seriously impact your quality of life. Fortunately, many joint pains can be avoided by recognising and changing everyday habits that contribute to the problem. Let’s explore some habits you should avoid to keep your joints healthy.

Habits to Avoid for Joint Health

Maintaining healthy joints involves steering clear of common habits that can cause lasting damage. Identify one or two of the following habits you might have and work on improving them gradually.

Poor Footwear Choices
Wearing shoes without proper arch support or ill-fitting shoes can lead to joint pain in your feet and ankles. Shoes can force your feet into awkward positions, affecting your knees and hips as well. Poor foot support can lead to conditions like plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, and lower back pain. If you experience pain in your feet, consider using insoles and shoes that offer full support and proper weight distribution.

Prolonged Sitting
Sitting for long periods, whether for work or due to mobility issues, encourages poor posture. Poor posture can strain your lower back and potentially deform your spine over time. To maintain a healthy back, sit up straight with your shoulders back and your feet flat on the floor.

Neglecting Good Posture
Good posture is essential at all times, not just when sitting. When walking, keep your shoulders back, your back straight, and your knees aligned to reduce stress on your joints. For extended sitting periods, use lumbar supports or seat cushions to help align your spine properly.

Skipping Strength Training
As we age, we lose bone mass, increasing the risk of injuries and conditions like arthritis. Regular strength training can slow bone mass loss and even stimulate new bone growth. Incorporate strength exercises into your routine to maintain bone health. Even with limited mobility, you can engage in seated chair exercises.
Related reading: Yes, you can achieve an effective workout without leaving your chair

Lacking Essential Nutrients
Calcium and vitamin D are crucial for bone health. Ensure you get enough of these nutrients through dairy products or supplements if needed. Consult your doctor if you think you might need supplements.
Related reading: Are you getting enough Vitamin D?

Sleeping on Your Stomach
Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for spine health as it forces you to twist your neck and puts pressure on your vertebrae. Sleeping on your back or sides is better. Use positioning pillows to maintain proper alignment and reduce pressure.
Related reading: Sleeping positions that reduce pain and discomfort.
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Overexerting During Exercise
When starting a new exercise routine, begin slowly and gradually increase intensity. If you feel sharp pain or soreness, stop exercising immediately to prevent injury.

Being Overweight
Excess weight puts extra strain on your ankles, knees, and hips, increasing the risk of joint issues. Small lifestyle changes, such as using a fitness tracker, performing daily exercises, working with a dietician, and setting incremental goals, can help you lose weight and reduce joint stress.

Missing Sleep
Lack of sleep can trigger inflammatory reactions in the body, leading to conditions like psoriatic arthritis. Ensure you get enough sleep to avoid this cycle of pain.
Related reading: Sleeping positions that reduce pain and discomfort.
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Nicotine reduces blood flow, decreases calcium absorption, and slows new bone formation, all of which are detrimental to joint health. Quitting smoking can significantly improve your bone and joint health.

Ignoring Pain
Don’t ignore persistent joint pain. Use home remedies like rest, ice, compression, and elevation to manage discomfort. If pain lasts more than a few days, consult your doctor to prevent long-term damage.

Tips for Joint Pain Relief

In addition to avoiding harmful habits, you can take proactive steps to improve your joint health:
Pain Cream: ideal for those who want a fast solution to manage joint pain on the spot.
Ice and Heating Packs: a simple solutions that can reduce short-term pain and promote healing.
Insoles: the perfect way to ensure you get the support you need while walking or running. They ease existing joint pain while promoting a healthy gait.
Compression Products: After consultation with your doctor, consider using compression glove or sock to reduce pain and stabilise joints. Related reading: What you need to know about compression socks.

By making these small changes and being mindful of your habits, you can keep your joints healthy and enjoy a more active, pain-free life.