For most people, the most frustrating part of aging comes with the aches and pains they tend to experience as they grow older. These aches and pains can present themselves in a variety of ways ranging from lower back pain and sore feet to severe joint pain. In fact, joint pain and trouble with ambulating are among the most common complaints in seniors. Our joint tips will discuss simple ways you can boost joint health and enjoy improved mobility, pain relief, and reduced inflammation.
The Truth About Joint Pain
Joint pain can be difficult to manage, and it tends to impact a person’s ability to move around freely and enjoy many of the activities they once used to love. Most people find that their quality of life can significantly decrease when they have to deal with ongoing joint pain. Even if you’re not very active, joint pain can make standing, sitting, and walking incredibly challenging and painful. Additionally, joint pain can be a sign of an underlying health condition such as severe degenerative joint disease. It can also lead to more significant health concerns such as loss of range of motion, loss of mobility, decreased flexibility, and an increased risk of falls.
If you think about all of the stress you’ve put on your joints throughout the years, then the fact that you’re now dealing with chronic inflammation doesn’t come as much of a surprise. So, what can you do to manage joint pain and improve joint health?
Improving Joint Health
Your first step is meeting with your physician. If your doctor determines you’re suffering from age-related joint pain, then he may recommend an assisted walking device such as a cane or walker, until you’re able to get the inflammation and pain under control. This will help to significantly reduce your risk of falling.
To learn more about walkers and how they can improve your mobility, click here to read our buyer’s guide.
Exercise may sound like the worst way to treat joint pain, but it can actually help in a number of ways. People mistakenly believe that exercise can increase joint pain, but it can actually help to reduce pain and inflammation by boosting blood circulation and preventing joints from becoming stiff. Initially, exercising may be uncomfortable, but as long as you take it slow, over time, you’ll find that it can actually help you manage your joint pain.
Low-impact exercises are a great choice for joint health. It’s important to choose exercises that won’t put added stress on your joints, such as jogging.
Some exercises that are considered senior-friendly include stationary bikes, elliptical machine workouts, pilates, yoga, walking, swimming, and stretching. Any water-related activity is an excellent choice.
Aside from low-impact exercises, stretching can also be very important, even on the days you don’t exercise. Stretching in the morning and right before bed will help to keep the muscles healthy and loose and can also make them stronger. Strong muscles can help protect the joints and prevent injuries from occurring.
Poor posture can have a major impact on your body, especially if you spend most of your time sitting. Additionally, poor posture can affect joint and muscle health.
Using proper posture won’t just protect your neck and back, but it can also protect all of your joints. Make sure you keep this in mind when standing, sitting, and lifting.
Working out your core can be one of the best ways to naturally improve your posture and boost joint health. A strong core can give you the muscles you need to protect your joints. But remember, don’t push yourself too hard. Instead, add some basic core exercises that can help you to naturally maintain proper posture.
Losing weight is a lot easier than it sounds. Seniors often have a slower metabolism, which can make losing weight very challenging. But a healthy weight can do wonders for joint health. When we’re overweight, the extra weight places too much pressure on the joints, causing them to work harder than they should.
Every pound of weight on your body can actually add several pounds of force to the joints. If you have fifty pounds to lose that’s almost two hundred extra pounds of force applied to your joints as you move. This can cause the joints to deteriorate faster than normal.
Once you start losing weight, you may notice improved mobility, a decrease in inflammation and pain, and a boost in energy. If you stay active longer, you’ll also experience less stiffness and pain when you move.
Make Changes to Your Diet
When it comes to maintaining joint health, diet is very important. A well-balanced diet will not only help with weight loss, so you can relieve some pressure from the joints, it can also boost your overall health.
Your diet should be loaded with vitamin D, and omega 3 fatty acids. These nutrients can be found in foods such as flax seeds, avocados, cod, salmon, and coconut oil. You may also want to start taking a daily supplement to ensure you get the daily recommended dose.
In addition to a joint health supplement take pepper cream or vitamin C to help reduce inflammation. Soy and avocado supplements can also help combat inflammation as well.
Nutrients for Joint Health
Nuts are a great nutrient source for seniors who want to improve joint health because they can fight the inflammation that causes pain and stiffness in the joints. Nuts are also an easy snack and can be added to pretty much any type of meal such as salads, oatmeal, bread, cereals, and smoothies. While most nuts will do, most nutritionists recommend walnuts and almonds, which don’t have a higher fat content like some nuts do, such as macadamias and cashews. If you add nuts to your diet, make sure you track the salt content.