7 Easy Ways to Improve Joint Health

7 Easy Ways to Improve Joint Health

Habits to Improve Joint Function

easily & at home

Joint pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints of U.S. adults who seek out the care of an orthopedic doctor. Joint discomfort can affect a person’s quality of life by preventing them from performing even the most basic tasks – such as walking, using their hands and arms to write, play sports, or pick up light objects such as groceries. 

Joint pain is something that typically gets worse if left untreated, so if you are experiencing joint pain, you should seek out the care of a physician before it gets any worse.

If your pain is slight, or you want to improve joint function before you begin experiencing pain, you can try these 7 at-home tips & tricks to naturally promote joint health:

1. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods.

At the root of joint pain is inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to trauma, but sometimes, your body can over-produce inflammation and do more harm than good. Flavonoids, the phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in most fruits and vegetables, are thought to be naturally anti-inflammatory.

Tip: Colorful fruits and vegetables, such as cherries, oranges, broccoli, and more are rich in this natural anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.

2. Avoid Inflammatory Foods.

Try to avoid overly processed foods, sugar, and alcohol. Simple carbohydrates, like processed breads, and desserts like cake, cookies, and ice cream should be eaten in limited portions if at all. These foods can lead to increased inflammation, which could be contributing to your joint pain.

Caffeine can also contribute to inflammation – so cut back on your coffee habit and replace soda with water. To start your morning, try naturally decaffeinated teas, or warm water with lemon and other fresh fruit. Your joints will thank you!

The time to start a supplement regimen is now

but where do you start?

3. Supplement Your Diet

It’s difficult to know which supplements you should take – and which supplements are ideal for improved joint health. Taking Vitamin D with Calcium, for example, increases the absorption rate of Calcium – which is a great supplement for improving bone health. 

Try to get out in the sun every day to naturally absorb Vitamin D and exercise, but a vitamin supplement is still a great way to make sure your body is getting all of its nutritional needs.

Dr. Warner designed an anti-inflammatory, whole body-optimizing multivitamin to take the guesswork out of taking supplements. Our CBD Multivitamin features carefully selected, high potency and bioavailable ingredients that support key areas of your health. SHOP NOW

4. Use it or Lose it.

If you’re cleared to do so by your physician, regular exercise is the best way to maintain your joint function. Regular exercise can strengthen the muscles around the joint and improve flexibility, allowing for increased function.

Low-impact exercises such as swimming, biking, or walking are great ways to improve your joint health without further damaging commonly painful joints such as the knees and hips. 

Yoga is also a great way to improve joint stability while improving core strength – and can be easily done by people of all ages and abilities.

READ MORE: WHY YOGA IS BENEFICIAL FOR EVERY AGE AND ABILITY

When you are able and under the guidance of a physician, you can also try weight or resistance band exercises to improve your muscle tone further. Even if yoga isn’t central to your joint-strengthening regimen, it’s important to stretch! Flexibility is key to maintaining joint health and relieving any soreness or stiffness that may occur after exercise.

Stretch before and after exercise to prevent muscle tightening and shortening that can put damaging strain on your joints. Even on your "off" days when you do not exercise, incorporating a stretching routine into your daily life is a simple yet effective way of improving joint function.

Focus on overall physical health

to improve the health of your joints

5. Improve Flexibility.

Increased flexibility is the goal of a focused stretching routine. Stretching will help you increase your flexibility, which will improve your joints’ range of motion. A smaller range of motion makes it difficult for your joints to move – which can lead to damage.

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Stretching exercises, such as yoga, floor bridges, sitting toe touches, heel raises and more, are excellent and simple ways of improving flexibility. Consult with a physical therapist for even more insight on which areas of your body could benefit from increased flexibility.

6. Reach Your Weight Goals.

Consult with your physician to find out what the ideal weight should be for your height and body type. If you could stand to lose a few, those extra pounds are likely putting damaging pressure on your joints – especially your knees, ankles, and hips.

If you need to diet, focus more on what you’re replacing heavy portions and processed foods with, instead of simply cutting back. For example, trade mashed potatoes for a large bowl of broccoli. Pick wholesome, plant-heavy meals that also reduce inflammation while providing essential nutrients. You can visit our Herbal Kitchen, where we share healthy, easy recipes that include information about the nutrients in the foods you’re making, for healthy meal ideas!

Don't Neglect Your Mental Health

reducing mental stress also reduces physical stress

7. Prioritize Mental Health.

Anxiety can affect your physical body in more ways than one. It can, for example, make you grind your teeth at night – and then you wake up with a painful, stiff jaw. Make sure to carve out time for relaxation. Take your full lunch break at work. Try to sit down for every meal instead of eating on the go. Shut off screens two hours before bedtime so you have a better chance of falling asleep quickly, and getting an adequate amount of sleep.

For best results, start with one self-care routine and commit to practicing it every day for a month. By the end of the month, it’ll be a habitual part of your daily routine!

Commit to Your Long-Term Health

and healthy joints will follow

In short, there are just a few things you need to do to improve your joint health. Commit to improving your physical, mental, and emotional health. Most of us know intuitively how much and what kinds of foods we should be eating, when we’re stressed, and when we need to exercise.

Reduce bodily inflammation naturally by eating healthy foods and taking an anti-inflammatory supplement designed to support your musculoskeletal (bone + muscle + joint) health.

Exercise regularly to improve muscle tone and reduce stress. Get the right amount of sleep and try to achieve attainable, realistic weight loss goals to improve your physical health and put less stress on your body.

When forming these new habits, start slow and don’t try to do them all at once. Take all the time you need to make sure they stick, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Use our products and resources to naturally + safely reduce inflammation and optimize your overall well-being! All of our naturally pain-relieving products contain CBD: a powerful, safe, and natural substance proven to reduce inflammation at its source. Consider our website your personal resource to a life well lived!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.

She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.

At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:

  • Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
  • Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
  • Fill the gaps in our daily diets
  • Manage pain associated with inflammation

Surgeon Formulated
For Your Peace of Mind

Natural Ingredients + Cutting-Edge Medical Breakthroughs.

100% NATURAL PAIN RELIEF FOR PEOPLE WORLDWIDE
  • FDA-REGISTERED
  • PARABEN-FREE
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5 Most Common Causes of Knee Pain

5 Most Common Causes of Knee Pain

5 Most Common Causes

of knee pain

Knee pain can be unbearable but can be even more frustrating if you don’t understand what is causing or why it’s not getting better. Unfortunately, most pain related to your knees gets worse over time. What can start out as stiffness or aches can, if left untreated, turn into a problem that can only be fixed with surgery. Sometimes, icing or over-the-counter medications may help. Other times, therapy or braces may be needed.

Recovery is determined by the condition and its severity. However, the first step in recovery is understanding what’s causing your pain in the first place.

1. Meniscal tears

The sturdy and flexible, hard tissue that covers the ends of our bones is known as cartilage. Knee cartilage is supported by two menisci (semicircular cushions of collagen between the cartilage surfaces): the medial and the lateral meniscus. This information is essential because this is where most “tears” take place within the knee.

A meniscal tear is about as painful as it sounds – causing the torn edged to get stuck in the joint, creating a “catching” sensation in joint. Meniscal tears cause swelling and can sometimes lock the knee.

2. Arthritis

One of the most common causes of knee pain and disability is arthritis. As a general inflammatory condition, arthritis is split into three common types when it comes to knee pain: rheumatoid, post-traumatic, and osteoarthritis. While these all differ based on how they’re caused and what they affect, the most common of the three is osteoarthritis, which is the continual wear-and-tear of cartilage in the knee joint.

Osteoarthritis has a strong genetic component. Most frequently seen in older individuals, osteoarthritis can cause limited range of motion, tenderness, and weakness in the knees. No matter what form of arthritis is present, they all share the common characteristic of stiffness and swelling, making it hard to bend the knee.

There is no cure for osteoarthritis at this time; however, there are several treatment options available to treat the symptoms.

3. Ligament injuries

Ligaments connect the thigh bone (femur) to our lower leg bones (tibia). Ligaments hold our bones together and keep them stable. Most common in sports injuries, ligament sprains and tears can occur in the medial collateral ligament (MCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This type of injury can create severe pain and is characterized by the swelling and instability that these injuries cause. These injuries often need bracing and therapy and may require therapy.

Read our blog, 4 Reasons You Get Knee Pain While Running, to find out what may be causing your knee pain if you think it’s exercise-related.

4. Inflammation

Inflammation of the knee can become a problem for most as it is often the result or cause of other conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, injuries, tears, etc. Inflammation can affect tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscles and much more. While the pain you experience from inflammation can vary from mild to severe, you should always make sure to treat it before it gets worse.

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Chronic inflammation can often lead to more damage, increased pain, and a loss of cartilage. With inflammation, the body produces proteins and chemicals that promote swelling and pain.

5. Patellar fractures

The kneecap acts as a protector to the knee, so a break within it is often caused by a fall onto the knee or against the dashboard during a vehicle collision of some kind. For those whose bones are weakened from osteoporosis, a fracture can occur by just misstepping, making it difficult or impossible to walk and straighten the knee. The patella increases the efficiency of the quadricep muscles and is often under a lot of stress. There are many other fractures of the knee possible as well.

Unless it’s a dislocation or fracture, the causes of knee pain may all seem the same to you. It’s difficult to honestly know what your condition is without seeing a professional. Don’t try and self-diagnose, or sweep the issue away, as untreated knee pain can only get worse over time. Contact a specialist today if you’re experiencing any knee pain or discomfort and so that you can start moving toward recovery.

 

Our Bone & Joint Health Multi is a great option for steadily improving joint health + function every day. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Meredith Warner designed this multi based on what she recommends for her patients with musculoskeletal conditions – especially those who are considering surgery – so they can recover, faster. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.

She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.

At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:

  • Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
  • Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
  • Fill the gaps in our daily diets
  • Manage pain associated with inflammation

Surgeon Formulated
For Your Peace of Mind

Natural Ingredients + Cutting-Edge Medical Breakthroughs.

100% NATURAL PAIN RELIEF FOR PEOPLE WORLDWIDE
  • FDA-REGISTERED
  • PARABEN-FREE
  • 3RD PARTY TESTED
  • 100% NATURAL

Knee Pain & Arthritis

Knee Pain & Arthritis

Anterior Knee Pain

& patellofemoral arthritis

Many people with pain in the front of their knee spend months or years without a true diagnosis or treatment plan. Often they are pushed from doctor to doctor, and occasionally are even relegated to pain management. Most patients with pain in the front of the knee, or anterior knee pain, however, are active and do not want to be medicated forever. The problem with anterior knee pain is that it is a difficult diagnosis to make and there are many possibilities.

One of the problems with medicine in the era of healthcare reform and ‘big-box’ medicine is that physicians no longer perform actual physical examinations.

Usually the doctors have a quota of patients to see that day that limit a visit to 8 minutes or so and the majority of that time may be spent documenting the visit in the electronic record.

Diagnosing Anterior Knee Pain

and patellofemoral arthritis

While this satisfies the government and permits payment for the visit, too often the patient remains without a diagnosis simply because no physician ‘laid hands’ on them.

Anterior knee pain can be diagnosed with a good history and good physical exam with occasional confirmation via imaging. Make sure that your doctor performs a good physical examination of the knee prior to dispensing advice or treatment.

Arthritis is the common term for damaged cartilage. Cartilage is the substance that covers both sides of a joint. A joint is a connection between two bones that allows movement. Cartilage provides both a slick and strong surface that allows the two bones to slide against each other for motion and a surface that accepts impact and protects the surface bone beneath the cartilage.

As cartilage breaks down or after it is damaged, arthritis ensues. Once there is arthritis, the surface is not as strong and is not as frictionless as it should be. Movement becomes less efficient and also painful. Patellofemoral arthritis is a problem between the cartilage surface of the underside of the patella (knee cap) and the front-side of the femur (thigh/knee).

Patients with this problem often report pain, effusions or swelling and mechanical symptoms such as popping, locking or catching in the front of the knee.

Pain is actually coming from the bone under the cartilage and the surrounding soft-tissue as cartilage itself lacks nerves. By lacking nerves, cartilage cannot itself feel pain; however, the bone underneath and the tendons, muscle and ligament around that cartilage certainly can produce pain. Arthritis is more often than not due to life itself or age-related. However, occasionally trauma or injury can cause and progress the symptoms of arthritis.

For trauma to cause arthritis the cartilage itself must fracture (break) or have an identifiable impact injury. This can happen from patella dislocations or subluxations, osteochondral defects, fractures of the knee or patella, or constant improper loading of the joint due to abnormal mechanics and alignment of the knee.

Instability of the patellofemoral joint is a problem and can sometimes progress to arthritis if not identified and treatment in a timely fashion. The patellofemoral joint sustains the most load and wear during activities such as ascending or descending stairs and/or squatting. When the knee flexes (bends), this joint undergoes more and more load and deformation. Maximum contact occurs at 90-degrees of flexion, but begins at 20-degrees.

The Goal Of Treatment

is to restore normal function (if possible) & reduce pain.

Usually, nonoperative treatment is the best course of action. This usually involved physical therapy, gait analysis and correction, orthotics and bracing, medications (topical and oral) and flexibility improvements. Soft-tissue balance of the knee capsule and surrounding ligaments and tendons is very important. Generally, this balance is difficult to achieve with a home-exercise-program and formal therapy or chiropractic care is necessary. 

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In addition, the knee functions better if the hip motion and strength is optimized; this too requires formal analysis and correction.

Another method to treat arthritis of the patellofemoral joint is through viscosupplementation. This involves injections of hyaluronic acid directly into the knee itself. This substance improves the viscosity of the joint fluid. Improved viscosity allows better resistance to compressive forces. The injection also acts as an anti-inflammatory treatment and reduces the inflammation associated with arthritis. This inflammation is a source of both pain and swelling. Also, the viscosupplementation provides supplemental nutrition to the knee cartilage; this is especially important for areas as small and as hard to reach as the patellofemoral joint. Hyaluronic viscosupplementation is an excellent treatment method for arthritis of the patellofemoral joint.

The Result of Surgery

throughout history

Surgery has historically not had great results for this problem. Today there are newer technologies and better reported outcomes.

However, it should still be considered a last resort. There are procedures to restore the cartilage that involve cartilage substitutes and one’s own cartilage transferred to any significant lesions on the patella.

There are procedures to realign the patella and its tendons such that the biomechanics of the knee joint change. This typically involves actually removing the bone where the patellar tendon attaches and physically moving it over and then reattaching it with a screw. This type of surgery is done to unload the patellofemoral joint and reduce the forces across that joint.

Arthroscopy is utilized to perform what is known as ‘chondroplasty’. This is basically a procedure whereby the damaged cartilage is literally removed from the knee. This is very difficult to achieve due to the anatomy of the patella; the results have been limited and there are many times poor functional outcomes of that surgery. Also through the arthroscopy, the structures stabilizing the patella can be released to effect an offloading. This is known as a ‘lateral release’. Occasionally this procedure is accompanied with a partial resection of the patella.

Anterior knee pain is very common and very debilitating. Many patients spend years without a proper diagnosis or treatment plan. The physical examination should be thorough and supplemented with advanced imaging such as MRI or CT scan. Treatment should be nonoperative if at all possible. Surgery is possible, but functional outcomes are not guaranteed and the procedures require a great deal of technical expertise and significant rehabilitation afterward.

 

Looking for an alternative to surgery that will help you reduce your arthritis symptoms naturally? Download our free Arthritis Guide and start managing your symptoms today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.

She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.

At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:

  • Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
  • Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
  • Fill the gaps in our daily diets
  • Manage pain associated with inflammation

Surgeon Formulated
For Your Peace of Mind

Natural Ingredients + Cutting-Edge Medical Breakthroughs.

100% NATURAL PAIN RELIEF FOR PEOPLE WORLDWIDE
  • FDA-REGISTERED
  • PARABEN-FREE
  • 3RD PARTY TESTED
  • 100% NATURAL