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The Basics of Maintaining Healthy Joints

1. Maintain a healthy weight. The most common joint ailment is osteoarthritis, a disorder that affects 21 million adults and includes a group of symptoms that lead to the degradation of essential joint parts. As we age, the cartilage in our joints begins to thin, causing painful friction in the conjoining bones. The texture of cartilage changes from smooth to fissured over time, which can lead to erosions. Extra weight exacerbates the pressure and pain in your knees, wrists, and even your shoulders. By maintaining a healthy weight, your joints will reduce damage to your cartilage.


2. Utilize a variety of weight-bearing exercises. Walking, jogging, yoga, tai chi and other weight-bearing exercises—meaning your weight is not supported during the exercise, such as in swimming or bicycling—help strengthen your joints. By adding a variety of different exercises to your workout routine, you can prevent frequently stretched areas from fatigue.

3. Minimize inflammation. After exercise or strenuous activity, applying ice to tired joints can reduce pain and inflammation. If necessary, ask your doctor about medication if you have persistent joint pain or inflammation.

4. Eat foods that promote joint health. Omega-3 fatty acids, as commonly found in fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, have been found to reduce symptoms and inflammations of the joints. Almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds contain high amounts of vitamin E, which preserves the outer membrane of joint cells. Kale is not only high in vitamins A, C, and K, but provides minerals that strengthen and repair joint tissue like copper and manganese.


The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.