What You Need to Know About
Keeping Your Joints Safe and Healthy

Some joints, like the ones in your skull, don't even move. Others, like your elbows and knees, carry a heavy workload. The wear and tear on your joints can add up.  Some joints form the connections between your bones. 

joint pain

Your joints help support your body weight and allow you to move comfortably. You use them for everything from bending your leg to nodding your head. over a lifetime.

Learn how to care for your joints so you can reduce your risk of soreness. You'll feel better and be able to perform your daily activities with more comfort.

Preventing Joint Pain

1. Watch your weight. Experts say that every pound of body weight puts four pounds of stress on your knees. A lean figure slows down the deterioration of cartilage and other tissue.

senior aerobic activities

2. Eat a balanced diet. While you're counting calories, ensure you get all the nutrients your bones need. That includes calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, phosphorous, magnesium, and protein.

3. Participate in aerobic activities. Weight-bearing exercises, like aerobics classes or daily walks, promote bone density. Schedule some aerobic exercise each day. If you already have injuries, opt for lower-impact alternatives like swimming or bicycling.

senior Train for strength

4. Train for strength. Resistance exercises build up your muscles and ligaments, which takes some of the pressure off your joints.

5. Modify exercises as needed. In general, you want to avoid any movements that cause joint pain. Browse online or ask a trainer how to design a workout that's safe for you. Double up your exercise mat to pad your knees during floor exercises, or skip certain positions altogether.

6. Move around. Moving around frequently can reduce stiffness. Take regular breaks from desk work or watching TV to stretch and walk around.

7. Try devices. Some people wear shoe inserts that absorb part of the shock that usually hits the knees and hips. Joints can also be stabilized with specially designed braces. Your doctor or pharmacist can recommend devices for your individual needs.

senior quit smoking

8. Quit smoking. Tobacco weakens your bones and joints. If you've tried giving up cigarettes before, it's worth another effort. Most people require multiple attempts before they succeed.

9. Prevent falls and other accidents. Injuries, such as strains and sprains, can lead to arthritis and other chronic issues. Wear proper safety gear for sports and work tasks. Enhance your ability to balance through yoga or Pilates.

Caring for Sore Joints

1. Talk with your doctor. There are many causes for joint pain including arthritis, bursitis, gout, and specific injuries. Your physician can assess you to find out what may be causing your pain

seniors seek emergency care

2. Seek emergency care. Know when to get immediate attention. Go to an emergency room if you're unable to move a joint or begin to experience severe pain and swelling.

3. Rely on PRICE. Most injuries can be treated at home with the traditional PRICE method of protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. You may also want to add in a heating pad if you find it soothing.

4. Take medication as directed. Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs are used to treat joint pain, swelling, and related muscle spasms. Your doctor might prescribe antidepressants or antiepileptic drugs to control pain.

5. Use topical agents. Similarly, there are a variety of products you can rub on sore joints to provide relief. They usually contain capsaicin or methyl salicylate.

While joint pain is troublesome, there are ways of reducing or even eliminating it. Don’t give up seeking solutions to your joint pain!

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