Don’t Overlook Your Bones and Joints
It was just bones and joints health week! There are so many different things we do to take care of our bodies, but this week we are going to take a closer look at our bones and joints. Often overlooked until an ache becomes unbearable, more than half of Americans over 18 experience bone and joint conditions, according to the United States Bone and Joint Initiative. Believe it or not, but bone and joint problems are the most common cause of chronic pain and physical disabilities worldwide.
Understanding Our Bones and Joints
Bones are what give our bodies support, protecting and structuring our organs from heart to brain. Bones also store nutrients, such as calcium. Joints are where two bones meet and what give us flexibility, such as knees, wrists, hips. Cartilage is a connective tissue that cushions our bones to keep them from rubbing together at our joints. Avoiding brittle bones and lack of mobility are important to reduce pain over our lifetime and keep us healthy.
Common bone and joint problems include:
- Arthritis – inflammation of the joints
- Back pain
- Broken bone
- Childhood conditions
- Osteoporosis – a preventable and treatable bone disease that causes fractures
- Traumatic injury
Exercising and Eating for Bone and Joint Pain
Physical activity helps with circulation in our joints and speeds up recovery and repair after something has gone wrong. Maintaining a healthy weight also helps as more body weight can add unneeded pressure to our joints. Sometimes on the flip side, eating a healthy and balanced diet is important to keep our bones from getting brittle. Eat foods for joint health and bone health that include Calcium and vitamin D. If needed take vitamins to supplement your bone health. While exercise could cause joint pain, by talking to your doctor you can start to implement exercises that take the pressure off of your joints while still benefitting your health. Oftentimes lower impact exercises are the way to go. This includes swimming, weightlifting, walking, gardening, and biking.
Treating Joint and Bone Pain
If you are experiencing joint pain and soreness, then ice is always a way to help combat the inflammation that could be contributing to this pain. Please talk to your healthcare provider for ongoing pain, this conversation could start with a certified caregiver, in home caregiver, or personalized elder caregiver. Other ways to help your bone and joint health is by drinking alcohol in moderation, avoiding or quitting smoking.
Try something different this week in the spirit of bone and joint health week. Don’t be afraid to move your body, to revise your diet, or to talk to a caregiver about an ache that just won’t go away.