Joint Pain

Advance Health Blog

Joint Pain

Chris Goetz - Thursday, August 15, 2013

How can I avoid joint pain?

Goetz with CaptionJoints are an important part of our bodies that make flexibility and movement possible. Unfortunately, joints deteriorate over time, gradually reducing our flexibility and mobility as we age. Even if not afflicted with a disease that affects the joints, like arthritis, many seniors experience stiff, painful joints and a reduced range of movement brought on by years of use, and sometimes abuse. Just as bones loose density and muscles loose flexibility with age, joints wear down as we get older.

Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to promote healthy, flexible joints well into old age. Like the rest of the body, joints benefit greatly from a healthy diet and regular exercise. Studies show that eating right and exercising can improve and help to maintain joint mobility, even after arthritis has set in. There are also other habits that can be developed now to promote healthy joints for life.

The beneficial affects of a proper diet on our bodies cannot be overstated. Good nutrition equals good health, and this basic science can be applied to joint health as well. A diet that includes vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids will be beneficial to joint health and mobility. Aside from increasing bone density, vitamin D acts as an anti inflammatory for joints. Vitamin D is added to processed milk and is also absorbed by the body from sunlight. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish and are known to reduce swelling in joints. On a more general level, reducing fat and maintaining a healthy weight decreases stress on the bones and joints and will slow the normal deterioration of joints over time. Finally, our bodies need the amino acids found in protein to strengthen joints.

Regular exercise has an incredible positive effect on the body and will also help in maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise increases muscle strength as well as improving balance, flexibility and posture, all of which are beneficial to the joints. Exercises that greatly increase flexibility are the most effective for joints. Included are yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi. Aerobic exercise can be helpful for relieving arthritis pain.

There are number of other practices that promote healthy, mobile joints. Aside from the benefits to joints, these habits will also positively affect health and overall well being.

  • Maintain good posture
  • Distribute weight evenly when standing to avoid unbalanced stress on the joints
  • Wear loose clothing to promote mobility
  • Avoid cracking knuckles or other joints
  • Avoid injuries and diseases like rheumatism, arthritis and gout

It is never to late to start practicing healthy habits that will strengthen and maintain joint mobility. Eating well and exercising, in particular, have numerous beneficial effects and will keep the joints flexible and mobile for life.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.