How to Improve Your Joint Health Naturally
A joint is basically where two more bones meet. Some are movable, like the joints in your hips, knees, and shoulders, while others are rigid, like the joint in your skull.
You need to keep your joints healthy if you want to stay mobile and fit as you grow older. Any form of damage to the joint can be extremely painful and the effect can sometimes be irreversible.
Some joint pains can become worse and lead to conditions such as arthritis. Over 50% of adults above age 65 and under 30% of adults aged between 45 and 64 years have been diagnosed with arthritis in the United States.
The good news, however, is that you can safeguard and improve your joint health naturally through measures such as:
Maintain a healthy weight
Your weight can put extra strain on your joints, such as your ankles, knees, hips, and back. Research has shown that every pound of excess weight that you carry can put four pounds of extra pressure on your weight-bearing joints.
Studies show that people who are over 18 and overweight are more likely to have arthritis.
That’s more reason why you need to maintain a healthy weight. This way, you can limit the amount of stress on your joints, thereby reducing your risk of suffering any joint damage.
Your diet also matters in improving your joint health. Besides, eating healthy can help you lose excess weight.
Note that some foods can help protect your joint while others can worsen your pains. Eating highly processed and artificial foods can cause your body to recognize them as foreign invaders.
Inflammatory foods such as dairy, sugar, meat, and saturated fat can also aggravate joint pains. But foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are anti-inflammatory and can help prevent joint pain caused by inflammation.
Hence, add lean proteins, and foods with calcium and vitamin D to your diet. Fish, such as mackerel and salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation in joints.
Calcium is an essential mineral that helps your bone stay strong and minimize your risk of developing the brittle bone disease (osteoporosis). The body replaces a small amount of calcium from our bone with new calcium, but when the amount removed is more than the amount replaced, it can lead to weaker bones that are at risk of breaking.
Collagen and Gelatin
Collagen and gelatin constitute the basic parts of the diet of bodybuilders. That’s because both are packed with amino acids and they provide tons of health benefits, including supporting your bones, liver, gut barrier, cartilage, connective tissues, and joints.
You can replace eggs with gelatin, which is the coked version of collagen, and make a wide range of delicious dishes with it.
Exercise and stay strong
You can build strong muscles and bones by adding strength training exercises to your routine. This should include exercises for your chest muscles, abdominal, and back.
When you have a strong core, it helps to prevent problems with balance and falls that could cause joint injury.
You can try weight-bearing exercises such as running or walking. This helps you maintain strong bones which provide support and stability for your joints.
However, you should always start slow when doing any type of exercise. Also, wear proper protective equipment if necessary to protect your joint and prevent any form of injury.
Do lots of low-impact exercises- which is a gentle type of exercise that minimizes the stress on your joints during high-intensive workouts.
Drink plenty of water
Water acts as a lubricant for joints. The cartilages around your joint are kept lubricated by the synovial fluid, which is made up of 60% water.
Hence, it is important to stay hydrated to improve your joint health naturally. If you don’t drink enough water, there will be a shortage of synovial fluid and this increases your risk of having friction pain and cartilage deterioration.
Being active can help you reduce stiffness in your joints. Try to move around more often during the day and avoid being limited to a particular position for too long, especially if you have a desk job.
When you stay active and keep moving, it encourages the circulation of the synovial fluid, which allows bones to move over one another more smoothly.
Apart from walking around, you can also add cycling, swimming, and stretching exercises to your routine. These help your joints stay mobile and may even help you shed some pounds.
Also, note that when you go for a walk outside, it helps you get your daily dose of vitamin D, which supports the absorption of calcium, ultimately leading to the development and maintenance of strong bones.
Keep a good posture
Your posture also matters in maintaining a healthy joint. When you slouch often, you put pressure on your joints and this can cause neck pain, back pain, and shoulder pain.
More so, a bad posture limits your range of motion, and this makes it harder for your muscles to take the load off your joints. In the long run, you may say suffer misalignment of your spine, which leads to more joint stress and pain.
So, always ensure you’re keeping a good posture, and try to make changes if you notice that you’re slouching or hunching forwards.
Look into the mirror, and ensure your palms are facing in towards your body with your thumbs pointing forward. If you observe that your palms are facing the back of the room, then it means you’re probably slouching.
However, when you turn the palm of your hands forward, it encourages your shoulders to roll down your back and prevent hunching.
Stress can cause your body to kick into an inflammatory response which causes swollen joints. Also, stress can also increase the level of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. And this can affect the production of collagen which is essential for maintaining healthy joints.
What’s more? Stress can also cause tension in your muscles, and this can cause your joints to work so much harder, leading to inflammation and discomfort.
You can tackle joint pain associated with stress in a number of ways, including:
- Soaking the body part affected in a hot bath with some Epsom salts. These salts contain a high amount of sulphate and magnesium, which are thought to be absorbed into the body to loosen stiff joints and help you relax.
- Incorporating mindfulness and deep breathing techniques to soothe the nervous system and bring your back to the present.
Add curcumin to your diet
Curcumin is derived from the herb turmeric, and it is a powerful substance that has been shown to optimize the inflammatory response.
This yellowish substance is so potent that experts recommend it as a useful alternative to NSAIDs. Besides, it has no negative side effects.
You don’t have to use artificial medications in improving your joint health. You can use the natural measures highlighted above to improve your joint health and improve your wellbeing. Always remember that you need to maintain strong and flexible joints to perform your daily activities efficiently. So your joint is important whether you’re nodding your head yes, going for a walk, standing from a chair, or putting a book on a shelf.
If you’re just starting an exercise routine, make sure you speak with your doctor first for proper check.