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5 Ways to Protect Your Joints from Pain and Damage

5 Ways to Protect Your Joints from Pain and Damage

Dr. John S. Michels is a well-known interventional pain management specialist with a busy practice in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He excels at controlling joint pain but prefers to prevent it from happening in the first place whenever possible.

Read Dr. Michels’ tips for protecting your joints from damage and the treatments available for improving joint health if you’re already experiencing symptoms.

Keep moving and make it joint-friendly

You may be tempted to slow down and spend more time on the couch than at the gym as you age. But Dr. Michels explains that prolonged physical inactivity is detrimental to your overall health as well as your joints.

Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, and cycling are joint-friendly and can provide the same cardiovascular benefits as high-impact pursuits such as running.

Even young athletes and exercise enthusiasts should consider alternating their high-impact workout with a low-impact version to spare their knees, hips, back, and other joints from wear and tear related to high-demand sports like basketball, soccer, and football.

Strengthen and stretch to protect your joints

Your joints rely on strong and flexible tendons, ligaments, and muscles to hold them in place and provide support for pain-free movement.

Your workouts should include a well-balanced strengthening and flexibility regimen that addresses calf, thigh, back, shoulder, and other muscle groups.

Use appropriate posture and body mechanics when you’re working out. Your joints and soft tissue structures count on proper body alignment to function smoothly. This is the case with routine tasks such as screen time (for work or leisure) and lifting in the weight room or when unloading groceries.      

Take a joint-friendly break

Overuse injuries are a common joint problem that can occur with repetitive motion in sports, school, work, and recreational activities.

A solid block of hours spent perfecting your pitching, typing out a report, or leveling up in your newest game quest strains your joints and the muscles that support them.

Give your knees, shoulders, neck, wrists, and back a break by taking time to get up from your desk periodically to move around and stretch. This relieves muscular tension and helps restore normal circulation, which provides the bloodborne oxygen, nutrients, and fluids healthy joints require.

Check your timing during sports training and exercise routines so your joints and muscles have time to recover between workouts or games.

Watch your diet

Nutritionally poor diets starve your joints of the nutrients they need for healthy function. Fatty or fried foods as well as sugary snacks and beverages can also trigger an inflammatory response that may worsen joint swelling, stiffness, and discomfort.

Instead, choose a diet high in lean protein, whole grains, and fresh vegetables. Don’t forget to hydrate before, during, and after any activity and maintain a healthy water intake even on those days when you’re not exercising.

Also, reach and maintain a healthy weight to prevent joint damage and the resulting pain in your knees, hips, and back.  

Don’t ignore joint pain

Ignoring joint stiffness or pain, especially when it occurs at a certain time of day or during a specific activity, only worsens the damage causing your discomfort.  

Dr. Michels offers numerous highly effective yet conservative treatments that ensure your joints remain as healthy as possible throughout your life.

Based on the results of a detailed evaluation, he may recommend therapies that reduce your pain, restore joint mobility, and prevent future problems.

Your strategy may include:

Schedule a visit with Dr. Michels today for specialty care that resolves your current symptoms and protects your joints from future damage and pain. Call our Dallas (Preston Center), Texas, office at 214-888-3883; or request an appointment online.

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