4 Best Practices That Promote Healthy Joints as You Age

Jan 16, 2024
4 Best Practices That Promote Healthy Joints as You Age
You’re noticing your joints are more sensitive these days, often becoming stiff when you sit for too long or aching after a lot of movement. Here are some tips that will preserve their health as you age.

As you age, you might notice some changes in your body, especially in your joints. It may take a few steps for your joints to loosen up when you get out of bed in the morning. Maybe your joints tire more easily on walks, or they ache afterward.

Or, you’re lucky, and you’re feeling nothing at all, but you understand that joint issues may loom in the not-too-distant future.

The fact is that more than 92 million people in the United States have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, or they have symptoms that feel a lot like arthritis — joint pain and inflammation.

That’s why you should take steps to protect them as you get older. To get you started, our team at Sunshine Spine and Pain Specialists, PLLC, under the experienced direction of Dr. Peter Fernandez and Dr. Amanda Fernandez, provides the best practices to help you avoid joint pain.

1. Shed those excess pounds

Your body is designed to carry a certain amount of weight. If you exceed that number, you’re placing extra wear-and-tear on your musculoskeletal system, which increases your risk of developing arthritis.

Nearly one-third of adults in the US are overweight, and two in five have obesity. These high numbers correspond to the tens of millions of Americans who are dealing with joint pain.

If you lose just 5% or 10% of your body weight, you ease the pressure on your joints and prevent the breakdown of protective cartilage.

2. Movement is key

Joints are designed to move and function best when on the go. Think of your joints as any piece of machinery — for example, a bike. If your bike sits in the garage, the chain stiffens, the gears don’t shift as easily, and the wheels squeak a little when they get rolling.

So, don’t treat your body like you do a forgotten bike — instead, take it out for a spin at least once daily. Moving promotes blood flow to your joints, which delivers valuable resources that keep the connective tissues flexible and strong.

If you can’t devote time to movement, incorporate small practices that get your body moving, such as parking farther away from the entrance or using the stairs instead of escalators.

3. Build strength

Another way to preserve your joints is to strengthen the surrounding muscles. For example, strong leg muscles promote optimal joint movement in your knees. And this applies to all your joints.

If you incorporate two weight-lifting or body weight (no equipment needed) sessions weekly, even if it's only for 15-20 minutes, it can significantly improve your joint health. Click this link for some great exercises to get you started.

4. Enlist help

If you’re already experiencing joint pain, it’s time to schedule an appointment with our team. We don’t want existing joint pain to stand in the way of you improving your joint health.

After evaluating your joints, we provide interventional therapies to relieve joint pain and inflammation so you can utilize the tips we highlighted above.

In addition to corticosteroid injections and nerve blocks, we also offer regenerative injections, such as platelet-rich plasma, to rebuild your joints.

If you have questions about protecting your joints as you age or want to address existing pain, please contact our Sarasota, Florida, office to schedule an appointment. Call 941-867-7463 or use our online booking request form.