What You Need to Know About Keeping Your Joints Safe and Healthy

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, What You Need to Know About Keeping Your Joints Safe and Healthy, Dr. Nicolle

Joints form the connections between your bones. Your joints help support your body weight and allow you to move comfortably. You use them for everything from bending your leg to nodding your head. Some joints, like the ones in your skull, don’t even move. Others, like your elbows and knees, carry a heavy work load. That wear and tear can add up over a lifetime.

 

Learn how to care for your joints so you can reduce your risk of soreness. You’ll feel better and be able to perform your daily activities with more comfort.

 

Preventing Joint Pain

1. Watch your weight.

Experts say that every pound of body weight puts four pounds of stress on your knees. A lean figure slows down the deterioration of cartilage and other tissue.

 

2. Eat a balanced diet.

While you’re counting calories, ensure you get all the nutrients your bones need. That includes calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, phosphorous, magnesium, and protein.

 

3. Participate in aerobic activities.

Weight bearing exercises, like aerobics classes or daily walks, promote bone density. Schedule in some aerobic exercise each day. If you already have injuries, opt for lower impact alternatives like swimming or bicycling.

 

4. Train for strength.

Resistance exercises build up your muscles and ligaments, which takes some of the pressure off your joints.

 

5. Modify exercises as needed.

In general, you want to avoid any movements that cause joint pain. Browse online or ask a trainer how to design a workout that’s safe for you. Double up your exercise mat to pad your knees during floor exercises, or skip certain positions altogether.

 

6. Move around.

Moving around frequently can reduce stiffness. Take regular breaks from desk work or watching TV to stretch and walk around.

 

7. Try devices.

Some people wear shoe inserts that absorb part of the shock that usually hits the knees and hips. Joints can also be stabilized with specially designed braces. Your doctor or pharmacist can recommend devices for your individual needs.

 

8. Quit smoking.

Tobacco weakens your bones and joints. If you’ve tried giving up cigarettes before, it’s worth another effort. Most people require multiple attempts before they succeed.

 

9. Prevent falls and other accidents.

Injuries, such as strains and sprains, can lead to arthritis and other chronic issues. Wear proper safety gear for sports and work tasks. Enhance your ability to balance through yoga or Pilates.

, What You Need to Know About Keeping Your Joints Safe and Healthy, Dr. Nicolle

Caring for Sore Joints

1. Talk with your doctor.

There are many causes for joint pain including arthritis, bursitis, gout, and specific injuries. Your physician can assess you to find out what may be causing your pain.

 

2. Seek emergency care.

Know when to get immediate attention. Go to an emergency room if you’re unable to move a joint or begin to experience severe pain and swelling.

 

3. Rely on PRICE.

Most injuries can be treated at home with the traditional PRICE method of protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. You may also want to add in a heating pad if you find it soothing.

 

4. Take medication as directed.

Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs are used to treat joint pain, swelling, and related muscle spasms. Your doctor might prescribe antidepressants or antiepileptic drugs to control pain.

 

5. Use topical agents.

Similarly, there are a variety of products you can rub on sore joints to provide relief. They usually contain capsaicin or methyl salicylate.

 

6. Consider injections or surgery.

If you’ve tried all of these options and still need additional measures, there are more steps you can take. Steroid injections help many patients, and joint replacement surgery has a high success rate.

 

Aim to keep your joints in top condition as you age. Simple lifestyle changes will strengthen your skeleton so you can stay fit, active, and pain-free.

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, What You Need to Know About Keeping Your Joints Safe and Healthy, Dr. Nicolle

 

I really wanted to talk about this topic today because over 30% of Americans suffer from some kind if chronic or severe pain, according to the IOM, CDC, and NIH. Specifically, 116 million Americans are in pain! The number of individuals who live in pain is far greater than the 30.3 million Americans who have diabetes, 25.4 million people who suffer from cancer, and 14.7 million individuals who are ill with heart disease combined. Chronic pain affects more people than major chronic illnesses do, and the economic cost and complexity of chronic pain are vast.

 

I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases and chronic pain. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some chronic diseases and chronic pain (if you suffer from them). In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.

 

You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health and improve your pain and inflammation, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.

 

Is Supplementation Right For You?

Dietary supplements can be a great way to promote better health and manage chronic pain. They can provide the essential nutrients your body needs but may not be receiving from food sources alone. For those dealing with chronic pain, dietary supplements can be useful as they help to reduce inflammation and support healthy joint function while providing relief from discomfort. Depending on your individual needs, some beneficial dietary supplements for managing chronic pain include omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, turmeric, curcumin, magnesium, vitamin D3, and CBD oil.

 

But don’t think that just popping a few pills will solve all of your problems! Dietary supplements are meant to supplement an overall healthy lifestyle—they cannot replace medication or other treatments prescribed by your physician. Additionally, make sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement routine, as some supplements can interact with certain medications or conditions. So if you’re dealing with chronic pain, dietary supplements may be worth a try—just remember that they are not miracle workers! With the right plan and an overall healthy lifestyle, dietary supplements can help support better health and ease discomfort associated with chronic pain.

 

My Pain Support Bundle is excellent for chronic pain, muscle pain, and spasms. Designed to calm and support the nervous system, support a healthy immune system and a healthy inflammatory response. This formula supplies a powerful synergistic blend of nutrients, enzymes and herbs clinically shown to support a healthy inflammatory response.

Pain Support Bundle

 

These are my favorite Pain Relieving Superfoods and Supplements to use! This Pain Support Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important foods to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency while naturally relieving pain.

 

Tools For Pain Management

Tens Unit

A Tens Unit can provide drug-free pain relief for sore or aching muscles of the lower back, shoulder, arm, leg and more. This electrotherapy device is widely used for rehabilitation after injury and for the treatment of acute and chronic pain.

TENS Electrotherapy at Omron Healthcare, What You Need to Know About Keeping Your Joints Safe and Healthy, Dr. Nicolle

 

Hot and Cold Therapy

Hot and cold therapy is often used for pain management. This gel pack provides a moist therapeutic heat when heated, while soothing cold feeling when used cold. It is also designed to prevent trauma to the skin or nerves.

 

Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

 

Stay healthy,

 

Dr. Nicolle

 

PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.

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