Joint degeneration is an inevitable part of our lives, and taking care of joints knows no age limits. It is recommended to start joint maintenance from the age of 30, especially for those at higher risk. Early bone and joint care can help avoid future troubles like joint pain and mobility issues, impacting daily life and activities.
Benefits of Exercise for Joint Health
Engaging in moderate exercise strengthens the tendons around joints, preventing stiffness and maintaining joint flexibility. Lack of exercise often leads to weaker muscles, increasing the likelihood of arthritis. However, excessive exercise should be avoided to prevent injuries. Gradual, progressive exercise routines are recommended to minimize the risk of injury.
Most Beneficial Exercises for Joints
Consider activities like swimming, walking, cycling, yoga, and tai chi for joint-friendly stretching exercises. These activities enhance the resilience of joints against external forces.
Importance of Exercise for Joint Degeneration
Contrary to common belief, avoiding exercise worsens joint stiffness for those with degenerative joint arthritis. Regular walking, tailored to individual capabilities, is recommended. Adjust the intensity if you experience joint pain or fatigue during exercise.
Supplementing Nutrients Beneficial for Joints
- Collagen: Consume foods rich in collagen and cartilage, such as pig ears, tendon, chicken feet, or plant-based alternatives like white fungus, black fungus, and seaweed.
- Vitamin C: Acts as an antioxidant and a coenzyme for collagen, crucial for joint cartilage repair.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in deep-sea fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, these acids aid in reducing inflammation.
- Calcium-rich Foods: Strengthen bones to alleviate pressure on joints. Include milk, yogurt, soy products, sesame, and almonds in your diet.
- Limit Animal Fats: Excessive consumption may trigger inflammation. Use plant-based oils for cooking.
- Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used for short-term pain relief. Long-term use should be monitored for potential side effects.
- Supplemental Therapy: Glucosamine, chondroitin, and intra-articular hyaluronic acid injections can support joint health.
- Rehabilitation: Heat therapy, far-infrared radiation, ultrasound, shortwave, electrical stimulation, and physical therapy aid in rehabilitation.
- Surgery: Considered when conservative approaches fail to alleviate pain.
Lifestyle Improvements for Joint Health
- Weight Management: Control body weight to reduce joint burden, especially for those with wider hips.
- Proper Lifting: Avoid heavy lifting, and if necessary, maintain an upright back posture and distribute weight evenly.
- Avoid Bending at the Waist: When reaching for low objects, squat down, bending your knees and hips, avoiding waist bending.
- Change Posture Frequently: Take breaks every 15 minutes if maintaining the same position for an extended period.
- Knee Warmth: Keep knees covered, especially in cold weather or air-conditioned environments.
- Correct Standing and Sitting Posture: Maintain a 180-degree knee angle while standing and a 90-degree knee angle while sitting.
- Avoid Squatting and Cross-Legged Sitting: Such positions can strain hip and knee joints.
- Minimize High Heel Usage: If necessary, choose shoes with thicker soles for better stability.
- Avoid Sitting on Low Chairs: Optimal chair height reduces pressure on hip and knee joints.
- Sun Exposure: Activate vitamin D to D3 through sunlight exposure, promoting calcium absorption to prevent bone loss and delay degenerative joint arthritis.
Additional Lifestyle Improvements for Joint Degeneration
- Warm Compress: Regularly apply a warm compress to alleviate discomfort. Warm baths or occasional hot spring baths can enhance blood circulation.
- Use Supportive Aids: Choose appropriate aids to lessen joint stress as degeneration progresses.
- Walking Aids: Consider using a cane to alleviate pressure, particularly for those with hip joint degeneration.
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