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Nowadays, the majority of us make a conscious effort to prioritise our health and wellbeing. We are more aware of what is good for us and what is bad for us than ever before and, thanks to the proliferation of the internet as an easy means of accessing information, we are also more familiar with different health issues and how they can affect us, meaning that we pick up signs of different symptoms more quickly and seek out medical help and assistance more readily. One area of our bodies that we tend to pay little attention to, however, is our joints. Most of us don’t pay attention to our joints until problems flare up – and this doesn’t tend to occur until later down the line in our lives. But it’s extremely important that we are familiar with our joints, that we know different conditions that can affect them, and that we know how to take care of them effectively!
What Actually Are Joints?
The average person has 360 joints in their body, but many of us don’t know what they actually are! Put simply, a joint is the connection between two bones that allows you to move. Your joints allow you to complete simple actions like moving your fingers, bending your knees and elbows, turning your head, and twisting your hips. The joints are cushioned by a combination of cartilage and synovium soft tissues. These are lubricated by synovial fluid, which allows smooth movement and prevents your bones from rubbing up against one another.
If you have issues with your joints, you can experience pain and swelling. It’s not all too surprising that this can have a profoundly detrimental impact on your day-to-day life. You use your joints to do almost everything in regards to movement, so when they are inflamed or your bones rub against one another, you will experience discomfort and pain unless you sit or lie completely still. This, of course, isn’t practical and should be confronted as soon as possible. When experience joint pain, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to suggest a treatment plan to alleviate pain, which may include surgery, therapy, or the use of prescription and over-the-counter products such as this gel.
Arthritis is the medical term for a condition that inflames the joints. There are over one hundred different types of arthritis, but the most common are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The condition generally affects adults over the age of 65, but it can affect anyone at any time, so it’s good to be aware of its symptoms and effects. Arthritis tends to come hand in hand with joint pain, joint stiffness, and swelling of the joints. It can significantly reduce your range of motion and make day-to-day tasks extremely difficult and painful. While there is currently no cure for arthritis, a consultation with a doctor can see them create a treatment plan for you that will help to alleviate symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
How Exercise Can Benefit Your Joints
Your joints are supported by muscles, so it makes sense that stronger muscles provide joints with increased support. Remember how much pressure your joints are under on a day-to-day basis – engaging with exercise and ensuring you have strong muscles to support them can provide you with a better quality of life! Joints in your knees, spine, and hips will particularly benefit from this, as they support the majority of your body weight. If you are already relatively fit and healthy, focus on exercises that improve muscle mass. A weight training routine that incorporates squats, lunges, press ups, and weight lifting could prove best. If you are unsure of how to carry these exercises out, hire a personal trainer who will be able to come up with an exercise plan for you and oversee your workout to ensure that you are carrying each step out properly and safely. If you are already experiencing pain in your joints, this could be difficult. Instead, you might want to try out a form of exercise that takes it easy on your joints. Swimming is a great option, as buoyancy will help to support your body weight while you work out.
Monitoring Your Weight
As we have just mentioned, your joints help to support your bodyweight. This means that if you are overweight or obese, you are placing unnecessary pressure on your joints. You will essentially be putting them under constant pressure, which can have detrimental effects on their functioning in the long run. So, monitor your weight and try to maintain a healthy weight. This will benefit you in so many other ways too!
As you can see, your joints play a major role when it comes to your overall health and wellbeing. Issues with your joints can result in various problems and can inhibit your day-to-day routines. So, if problems do begin to establish themselves, consult your doctor as soon as possible! Also try to implement other above advice into your routine to support your joints and maintain their overall health as best you can!