5 Tips for Healthy Joints from a Chiropractor
Keeping your joints healthy is essential to living a life free of mobility restrictions. These tips will help you guard your joints and protect them from injury and disease as the years pass by.
For more great health tips, be sure to check out our Chiropractic Health Blog.
What is a Joint?
First off, what is a joint anyways? It’s the connection between two bones within your body. Your joints allow you to bend your knees and elbows, arch your back, move your hands and shake your head.
Inside of a joint you’ll find soft tissue called synovium and cartilage which is a firm tissue but much more flexible than bone. Another element called synovial fluid is also found within, which acts as a lubricant so that the connecting bones don’t rub each other.
Unfortunately, old age, sports injuries and carrying heavy loads are a few examples of when cartilage can begin to wear and tear over time, which can lead to permanent damage and sometimes arthritis.
On the other hand, there are ways you can care for your joints to keep your soft tissues, cartilage and bone strong and sturdy. Here’s some tips and a short word (bottom) for healthy joints… from an experienced Chiropractor.
Tip #1 – Watch Your Nutrition for Healthy Joints
Proper nutrition is part of the list of “tips” you’ll get for healthy anything from a Chiropractor. Eating the right foods and staying away from the wrong ones will help you build strong muscles and healthy joints.
Getting enough calcium every day will make sure you have strong muscles and bones. Foods that promote healthy joints:
- Almond milk
- Soy milk
- Green tea
For all the foods that are good for your joints, there’s lots that aren’t that you should avoid. Foods that do not promote healthy joints:
- Fatty, fried foods
- Dairy products
- Trans-saturated fats
- Processed foods
NOTE: Some people have adverse reactions to dairy products. So while milk and / or yogurt might be rich in calcium, they might not be ideal for your diet. Ask your Chiropractor or Nutritionist more.
Tip #2 – Watch Your Weight for Healthy Joints
If you’re eating healthy, chances are you’ll have a healthy weight about you. Being overweight can cause great stress on your knees, hips and back as they must compensate for that extra load. That’s why overweight people often experience problems with these parts of their body.
Research has shown that for every pound a person gains, about four times more stress is put on the knees. Lightening the load so to speak can have profound effects on the health of your ligaments and joints.
- Also see these 15 Foods that Benefit the Health of Your Nervous System
Tip #3 – Exercise Regularly for Healthy Joints
If you’re already experiencing arthritis, for example, you’ll want to create a work out plan that limits the pressure you put on your joints. Consider these work outs:
Aerobic exercise – Low-impact aerobic exercises such as bicycling, swimming, walking, rowing and an elliptical machine
Light weights – when weight-lifting, using light weights will reduce the stress on your ligaments and joints
Body-weight exercises – Low-impact plyometrics, abdominal work outs and high intensity interval training are a few ways you can use body weight to get a good sweat on and strengthen your joints while at it
Stretching – making sure your ligaments are warmed up and ready to go before exercise is important to prevent injury that may result from strain
Tip #4 – Practice Good Posture for Healthy Joints
Slouching your neck and shoulders forward is not good for your joints. If your working at a desk, you should invest in a good work chair if possible, or maybe even a lift-desk that allows you to stand up.
Another option is to use an exercise ball; sitting on one forces you to keep your neck and back straight and shoulders backward.
- Also see these 5 Tips for Maintaining Good Posture… from a Chiropractor
Tip #5 – Know Your Limits for Healthy Joints
Knowing your limits by listening to your body is another important tip for healthy joints. Just because this guide said that this workout or that food is good for your joints doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for you.
For example, if doing plyometrics irritates your ankles or wrists, try toning down the exercise or perhaps doing another one all together. Another example would be if you are eating dairy for calcium but it’s irritating your gut.
Dairy has different effects on different people. Sometimes dairy can affect the health your digestive system and decrease the rate and efficiency at which you absorb nutrients, affecting the health of your joints.
You’re the boss of your own health at the end of the day. Make sure you know your limits and are listening to your body when it comes to your own joint health!
A Word on Healthy Joints from a Chiropractor…
Healthy joints are comprised of strong bones, strong ligaments, and hard cartilage. This creates the anchor from which the muscle and tendons move a joint in a healthy and proper motion.
If the joint components mentioned above are loose or soft in anyway then it causes the muscular and tendon component of the joint to over contract on one side and to stretch and weaken on the other side. This causes misalignment, and sooner than later will cause pain and symptoms.
It also activates the nervous system to get involved with the misalignment and pain and symptoms.
I treat the soft tissue muscular imbalances activating the weak and over contracted muscles to work properly while at the same time bio-chemically looking at the nutrients that are deficient which are causing the loose ligaments and the soft cartilage.
If the ligaments are loose and the cartilage is soft then the misalignment will reoccur no matter what form of rehabilitative treatment you’re doing.
– Dr. John Battershill, Chiropractor