The smooth tissue cartilage, synovium and a lubricant known as synovial fluid, buffer the joints so bones do not rub together. Aging, injury, carrying too much weight can cause increased wear and tear of our cartilage, which can trigger discomfort, pain and debilitating joint conditions too.
Luckily, there are some steps you can follow now in order to protect joints and lower the chances of replacing them later.
Here are some ways you can support your joints:
1. Muscle-Strengthening Exercise
Muscles have the role of shock absorbers in our body and stabilize and protect joints. Light weight training can protect joints and bones. As you age, try to continue to strengthen your muscles with weight bearing exercise. Knee joints are the most predisposed to wear and tear, so try to strengthen and protect the muscles from premature damage with cycling.
2. Joint Mobility Movements
With moving the joint, the synovial fluid moves within the joint. This fluid is the joint’s lubrication. Moving our bodies, the old fluid moves out, and the new fluid moves in. the old fluid can store mineral deposit and microbes. Everyday activity is a wonderful way to lubricate the joints in a natural way. Try to include 5-10 minutes of joint mobility movement every morning.
3. Body Rolling
Muscles and joints can become very tight and inflexible when we are not active. One muscle can be too tight, and another too weak. Body rolling with a foam roller can be very supportive with these imbalances.
4. Keep Joints Lubricated With Helpful Fats
The fats we consume become the fats that occupy our cell membranes, that encapsulate our cells too. It is very important to consume fats from avocado, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish such as salmon (or flaxseed).
Omega 3 acids are very useful in combating inflammation in the body, and can be easily added to our diet by consuming omega 3 rich salmon or flaxseed. Chia seeds, walnuts and peanuts are also rich in omega 3 fats.
Foods And Nutrients That Support Joint Health:
- Studies constantly show that high plant diet possesses anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Eating this kind of food we omit many fake ingredients in food that are added to processed food.
- The powerful antioxidant glutathione helps the body fight free radicals that we are exposed to by pollution, chemicals, even inflammation in the body caused by stress. Glutathione taken as a supplement can support joint health because of its anti-inflammatory effects.
- Vitamin A, C and E are all powerful antioxidants that function as antioxidant support in the body.
- Glucosamine is an amino sugar produced by the body naturally. It comes in two forms – glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. It is often included in joint care supplements in combination with chondroitin.
- Chondroitin is also a natural substance that can be found in the body. It helps draw water and nutrients into the cartilage, keeping it healthy and sponge-like. Glucosamine and chondroitin are supportive in the treatment and management of some joint conditions.
Acupuncture comes from China and it first appeared 2,000 years ago. Acupuncture can be effective in offering relief for arthritic conditions, pain or inflammation of the joints.
Acupuncture works in several ways. Firstly, it helps the body to create chemicals called endorphins, which make us feel good and prevent our bodies’ ability to feel pain. Secondly, it stops the pain signals to the brain through the nervous system. Thirdly, it works on trigger points. Trigger points are tender and extremely reactivate areas that develop within specific muscles parts. The result of acupuncture is relaxation of both body and mind.
Massage involves utilising pressure, tension and motion on tissues. It aims to the soft tissues of the body, such as muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage can be done manually, using hands, fingers, elbows, or with mechanical aids. It can be wonderful at easing muscle tension and pain in the joint.
7. Keep Your Core Strong
When our core is strong, our posture and movement are better and there is less stress loads on our joints. Yoga and pilates are great movements to boost the core muscle strength and help support joint stability.
8. Address The Emotional Component
It is too easy to have a negative mindset when your body starts to feel older. But ask yourself how can you support yourself in taking care of your joint health? Start to think and move beyond the attitude of limitation.