How Can We Maintain Healthy Joints?
As the connections between your bones, joints will sustain a certain amount of wear and tear as we age. Remaining pain-free and arthritis-free requires practicing good joint preservation techniques. The following techniques will help you to treat your joints with care as they age.
Every day, move each joint through its full range of motion to sustain mobility and freedom from pain. Make sure your movements are slow and gentle to avoid injury and be careful not to overextend.
Be sure to extend and flex your joints in the manner for which they are intended. Avoid overextending or stressful positions as well as techniques that could put you at risk for injury.
The manner in which you carry your body has a significant impact on whether your joints will remain pain-free. Practice good posture by adjusting workspaces to your specifications. Avoid back pain by picking items up using your legs, not your lower back. When carrying heavy objects, be sure to cradle the items close to your body.
Favor the larger joints. Use the weaker joints for duties only they can handle. Using your hands, carry objects palm open to help distribute weight equally over your forearm. If available, make use of surfaces around you. Instead of lifting an object, slide the object across a surface like a table or workbench.
Avoid keeping your joints in the same position for a prolonged period of time. This will help to keep your joints from becoming stiff. In situations where this cannot be avoided, such as car rides, take a break every hour to stretch and adjust your seating position.
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“I'm a retired physical therapist who had degenerative joint disease of the right knee that was hampering my active lifestyle. Dr. Kody did a total right knee replacement in November 2012. He did a great job. My wife and I traveled to Argentina and began a trek in Patagonia on February 20, 2013. We hiked 13 miles per day for 10 days. Some days, the elevation gain was as much as 3,500 feet. The knee was great, and we had a wonderful experience. Thank you, Dr. K!” — John R.