One in five of every American adults reports having physician-diagnosed arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control. More than fifty percent of adults over the age of 65 are reported to have the disease. With such odds, it’s time to pay attention to joints now with the goal of avoiding joint pain in the future.
There are a number of types of arthritis. According to Dr. Charles Davis, MD, PhD, with Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Health System and the Penn State College of Medicine, the two most prevalent types are:
- Avoid injuries from playing intense sports or the regular pounding of running marathons.
- Maintain a healthy weight – every one pound of body weight puts seven pounds of weight onto your knees. Keeping your weight at a healthy level can help you avoid joint pain in your back, hips, and feet as well.
- Get exercise regularly – particularly strength training. Strong muscles support the bones and joints and keep joints from rubbing together and wearing down cartilage. If you feel any pain, take it easy, and see a natural healer if it persists.
- Stand up straight. This protects the joints along your spine, hips and neck from taking too much strain.
- Use your major joints for lifting, i.e., hips and shoulders – not elbows, wrists and back.
- Take a warm shower, which will relax your muscles and loosen your joints.
- Do some very gentle stretching exercises to get the blood flowing and release tightening.
- Use an ice pack on the sore area to keep down swelling.
- Rest the sore joint. Avoid the activity that caused the pain and try something else instead, like hiking or swimming, with a lower impact to the joints.