If you live with joint pain, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 23% of American adults (that’s 54 million people) have arthritis, with countless more experiencing some sort of joint discomfort on a daily basis.
Whether your condition is chronic or you just get the occasional ache or pain, you deserve to move through each day in comfort. To help you out, here are six simple steps you can take to give your joints a little TLC—and avoid more pain in the future.
1. Eat healthy. Snack often.
A nutritious diet can have both an immediate and lasting positive impact on your joints. Choose foods that are anti-inflammatory and high in fiber and protein, like oatmeal and fruit for breakfast and nuts and berries throughout the day.
Enjoying a treat every three hours or so will keep you energized and combat swelling in your joints. Just make sure you’ve got a supply of healthy snacks close by to avoid the lure of chocolate, cookies, and chips, since fried and sugary foods can cause inflammation.
2. Commit to a good night’s rest
Unhealthy nighttime habits like drinking alcohol or caffeine, eating a heavy meal late in the day, or spending too much time in front of screens before bed can make it hard for your body to get the R&R it needs.
Since rest and joint health go hand in hand, developing good sleep hygiene can help you avoid unnecessary pain and get the most out of every night’s rest. You should also choose a mattress and pillow that support your joints—not too firm and not too saggy.
3. Reach for the sky—and then for your toes
You might have noticed that your joints are especiallysore in the morning. To help prepare yourself for an active, pain-free day, take a little time when you first get up to go through some basic stretches. Twist your torso. Wiggle your fingers. Roll your shoulders. Bend at the waist. These simple actions will help you jumpstart your body—so you can stride into the day with comfort and confidence.
4. Get 30 minutes of exercise every day
Whether it’s a brisk walk in the morning, a pick-up basketball game in the afternoon, or a weight-lifting session in the evening, find some exercise you enjoy and get active. Exercise strengthens your muscles, reduces stiffness, and increases your flexibility, so those minutes on the treadmill can go a long way toward keeping your joints healthy and happy.
If you’re worried about making your pain worse, low-impact exercises like swimming, riding bike, or yoga are great options. Just remember to stop and take a break if something hurts.
5. Breathe in. Breathe Out. Repeat.
When your joints are sore, your stress levels can skyrocket. But that stress can actually make your pain worse.
To combat it, take the time to learn some techniques that can relieve your stress and calm your mind. Activities like meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga are great places to start. Your joints will thank you!
6. Catch some rays
One of the biggest advocates for your joint health is right outside your window every day. The sun provides vitamin D, which helps keep your bones and joints strong.
While foods like salmon are also a good source of vitamin D, nothing beats the power of sunlight. Plus, soaking up some rays is a great opportunity to get some light exercise, like strolling around your garden or a nearby park. So get up, get out, and take care of your joints—and your overall health.
If you’re looking for long-lasting relief from joint pain, it might be time to explore alternative treatment options like stem cell therapy. To learn more about this treatment, and to find out if it’s the right call for you, contact us today.