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 and antioxidant.

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.

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.

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. Eat healthy foods and avoid inflammatory foods to reduce bodily inflammation.

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.

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

How To Treat Heel Pain

How To Treat Heel Pain

Dr. Warner Talks Orthopedics:

heel pain & how to treat it

Heel pain can range from being a minor nuisance to nearly debilitating, changing our daily lives and activities. While this condition can be a common complaint among our patients, there are a number of causes of this discomfort, and treatment must be directed at the specific cause.

One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, often occurring along with a heel ‘spur’. This bony prominence is located under the calcaneus, or heel bone. Heel spurs alone can be painless, but are often associated with a painful inflammation of the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the forefoot.

The spur itself is a calcium deposit, and can often be seen on x-ray. This deposit takes many months or years to appear, and is usually related to repetitive stress and strain on foot ligaments, particularly in athletes engaging in running and jumping, but obesity and the excessive weight can play a role. The plantar fascia is a thick connective tissue running from the calcaneus to the ball of the foot, and is very important in the mechanics of our foot movement and transmitting weight. If this tissue becomes inflamed, known as plantar fasciitis, it causes a painful heel/foot, often worse in the early morning upon waking (often a sharp, sticking pain), with some improvement throughout the day as it is stretched out, and returning after long periods of standing or walking. This pain is often described as a “stone bruise.”

If the pain is unresolved, the physician may consider injecting the area with an anti-inflammatory medication such as Ketolorac (Toradol) and Lidocaine, an anesthetic agent. Steroid injections, such as Cortisone, should be avoided due to risk of plantar fascial rupture and other side effects.commonly be found in people with no symptoms at all. Therefore, treatment is only needed when the spur is symptomatic and related to fasciitis, inflammation, and pain.

During your assessment, your doctor will examine the foot, and potentially request x-rays of the foot in order to delineate between other causes of heel pain, including Achilles tendinitis, stress fractures, a compressed nerve, tarsal tunnel syndrome, or retrocalcaneal bursitis. Your physician will then determine how best to treat the pain. Treatment can range from non-invasive attempts to reduce stress on the ligaments to injections or even to surgery.

 

Initial Treatment Options

your doctor may recommend

Rest – this helps alleviate the inflammation and pain.

Ice – helps to control pain.

NSAIDS/Anti-inflammatory medications (Advil/Aleve/Tylenol) – to control pain.

Exercises/stretching/physical therapy – relax the tissues around the heel bone and improve pain.

Shoe inserts/orthotic devices – help decrease pain with activity and improve foot mechanics.

Night splinting – keeps the heel stretched during sleep and less painful upon waking.

PRP Injections – A natural method of treatment using your own blood to promote healing.

If other methods have not been beneficial, the orthopedic surgeon may consider releasing this tight plantar fascia, in a plantar fascial release, and removing the spur, if present.

Click here to read about some of the most common causes of foot and ankle pain!

Occasionally heel pain may come from a hip rotation problem or even a spinal nerve compression. Read more about her unique methodology on our About page!

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

Getting Rid of Gout

Getting Rid of Gout

How To Prevent & Treat

gout flare-ups

Gout is a sophisticated form of arthritis, one that’s characterized by the quick and severe waves of pain, tenderness, and redness – often in the big toe. It can subside, bringing days without pain, only to be followed by another onset of attacks, known as flare-ups. There is no cure for gout, although prevention and management techniques exist to reduce the side effects of this painful illness.

How Is Gout Caused?

Gout is caused due to too much uric acid in the blood. High levels crystallize the acid, which forms around the bone or cartilage. The exact cause can be attributed to genetics, diet, and various medical conditions. Those with gout cannot process these crystals properly, and so they collect in the joint.

Genetics has the strongest influence on your uric acid levels, while medical conditions can also affect them, with diet far behind. For the latter, it is believed that a healthy diet, mixed with exercise, can help manage uric levels. Specifically, avoiding foods such as shellfish, red meat, and beer help to control gout.

How Can You Prevent Gout?

The best way to prevent gout is to focus on your uric acid levels, doing what you can to keep them under control. Achieving this involves lifestyle and dietary changes, focusing on drinking plenty of fluids to flush out the uric acid, as well as eating foods with low levels of purine (the compound that creates uric acid).

To manage your uric acid levels, you should lead a healthy lifestyle. That being said, there is no sure-fire, end-all solution out there, only ways to lower your uric acid levels. There is no available pharmaceutical explicitly used to treat gout, just medication to treat other illnesses that help with controlling uric acid levels associated with gout.

As far as medications, Allopurinol is often used to give baseline control. Colchicine and Indomethacin are used to help with flares.

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What Do You Do

during a flare-up?

Prevention is an excellent method of dealing with gout; however, if you already have it, what do you do during a flare-up to alleviate the pain? Let’s assume you are woken up in the middle of the night by an attack: first, you need to schedule an appointment with a doctor as soon as you can.

Gout is usually not life-threatening, but getting treatment within the first 24 hours of the start of attack is recommended. Professional help is recommended to treat flare-ups.

Generally, a physician will first advise you to take some anti-inflammatory, over-the-counter medicine such as Motrin, Advil, or Aleve. Do not take any aspirin, as it can make the flare-up worse. You can also create an ice pack for yourself, putting it on the affected area, and drink plenty of fluids while you do this. Take the pressure off your foot and elevate it so that it’s higher than your heart.

Avoid alcohol and try to relax – there’s not much else you can do until you see your doctor. Also, if you don’t have any allergies to them, consider eating tart cherries or tart cherry extracts for management of gout. 

Suffering from other foot pain in addition to gout? Read our blog about orthotics – and why they are a simple and effective way to relieve your foot pain.

You can also try our soothing Pain Cream or Pain Relieving Spray for steady, natural relief from pain + inflammation.

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

What Kind Of Arthritis Do You Have?

What Kind Of Arthritis Do You Have?

Contrary to popular belief, “arthritis” itself is not a single disease, but a classification of conditions that affect the joints and surrounding areas. In fact, there are more than 100 types of arthritis – with different causes, symptoms, and effective treatment plans.

Arthritis:

common misconceptions

Most people believe that arthritis only affects older people with aging joints. While osteoarthritis (time-related arthritis) is one of the most common types of arthritis, it is not the only one. Time-related arthritis usually is hereditary; if your parents had arthritis, you may likely have it. And osteoarthritis can affect younger populations as well. There are several underlying conditions that can cause arthritic symptoms:

  • Obesity. Excess weight actually promotes the production of too many inflammatory mediators in the body.  Adipose (fat) tissue creates the condition of chronic inflammation in the body.
  • Genetic Conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an immune system disorder, which causes the immune system to malfunction and attack the tissues of, and surrounding, the joints; this is often familial.  Osteoarthritis too is genetic in nature; long-term studies examining identical twins growing up in different environments has demonstrated this.
  • Nutritional Deficiency. The body needs “building blocks” to repair muscle. This includes calcium, which is used to replenish bones, and Vitamin D, which improves the body’s absorption rate of calcium.  Proper nutrition is also needed to cross-link the proteins that make up cartilage, bone and muscle. 
  • Injury. An injury can lead to degenerative arthritis after a joint or bone is damaged. Injuries can greatly exacerbate underlying arthritic symptoms.  However, most sprains will not cause arthritis; rather, the cartilage itself must be damaged at the time of impact or breakage of the bone.
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  • Infection. Lyme disease has been known to be associated with arthritis symptoms.  Septic arthritis is a condition during which bacteria invade the joint; this is a major cause of rapidly progressive arthritis.
  • Metabolic Disorders. Gout is caused by an improper disposal of uric acid, which, when left in the body, crystallizes inside joints and causes pain, inflammation, and swelling.  This is a ‘crystal deposition’ disease and there are others.

Common Types Of Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and is characterized by “normal” wear and tear on the joints with time and regular movement. Symptoms typically appear in larger joints in the leg – including the knees and hips.  The last joint in fingers is another common location, as is the ‘knuckle’ joint of the thumb.  As the cartilage between the joints breaks down, bones begin to grind together, causing pain, inflammation, and limiting the sufferer’s range of motion.  Osteophytes or spurs form as well.  

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is less common than osteoarthritis. It is caused by an immune system dysfunction, in which the immune system attacks tissues in the body.  In rheumatoid arthritis the lining of the joint capsule is usually involved and many inflammatory molecules then invade the joint. This leads to joint damage, pain, and eventual degradation of the surrounding tissues. There is no cure for RA, and it can lead to deformed joints, intense pain, swelling, and redness, and range of motion loss.  However, there are amazing medications available for this condition and others like it today.  Please see a physician if you feel that you have inflammatory arthritis.

Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. Its symptoms include stabbing, “needle-like” pain in the toes and joints, such as: ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, or fingers. This pain is accompanied by redness, swelling, and loss in movement in the affected joints. “Gout attacks,” periods when the pain is significant, can last from 2 days to a week.  The classic location of a gout attack is in the big toe; this is known as ‘pedagra’. 

What You Should Do

if you think you have arthritis

If you’ve been experiencing any sort of prolonged joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. They will then refer you to an orthopedic surgeon or a rheumatologist if needed, who will be able to ascertain what type of arthritis you have.

To relieve pain and swelling in the meantime, try hot and cool compresses to the affected area, change up your diet to include more nutrient-dense foods, and consider an over-the-counter pain medication to relieve inflammation (assuming you are not allergic or have a contraindication to it.)

Natural remedies are often suitable for treating symptoms. There has been some research done on CBD’s effectiveness at relieving pain + swelling in inflammatory conditions. In my clinical practice, I believe in exhausting as many natural and non-invasive therapies before resorting to invasive procedures – which is why I founded Well Theory. Check out our Healthy Recipes and powerful, safe, and natural pain-fighting wellness products 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

Early Signs Of Arthritis

Early Signs Of Arthritis

If you have begun to notice stiffness, aching, and swelling in your joints, and have difficulty moving freely, especially in the morning, it may be time to talk to your doctor about arthritis. There are well over 100 different types of arthritis, so this first conversation can seem daunting at first. Keep reading to find out which symptoms you should watch out for and mention to your doctor, and what different types of treatment you can expect for your condition.

Early Intervention Is Key

to lessening your arthritis symptoms & preventing injury

It’s important to intervene early if you think you may have arthritis. Arthritic conditions are degenerative in nature, so the longer your symptoms go without being addressed, the worse your pain and condition may become. This increases your risk of joint damage and having to undergo invasive procedures, such as surgery.

You will want to first pay attention to the symptoms you’re experiencing. Do they usually occur in the mornings, evenings, or after exercise? If the pain began suddenly, try to remember if and how you may have injured the affected joint. It is possible that you may have sprained it and eventually, the injury will heal. If the pain persists for a couple weeks or more, it’s likely time to see a doctor. Some inflammatory arthritis conditions present suddenly as well.

If you have symptoms other than pain, such as redness, swelling, or heat, you’ll want to make sure to see a doctor soon. It’s important to pay attention to these seemingly small details, as it will help your doctor accurately diagnose your condition and get you started on a treatment plan.  Some arthritic conditions are accompanied by other problems such as rashes or intestinal issues. 

Things You Can Try At Home

but where do you start?

While we caution you against self-diagnosing and self-treating, there are some things you can do to alleviate pain while you’re waiting to see your doctor. Hot and cold compresses relieve pain and reduce swelling, respectively, and over-the counter pain relievers can reduce inflammation as well.  Many states allow direct access to trained and professional physical therapists as well; if they feel a physician visit is warranted they will request it for you.

Herbal remedies, such as CBD cream, oil, or CBD-infused multivitamins, are great options for arthritic pain as well. 

CBD does not cure or treat arthritis; rather, the plant-based CBD can assist with the symptoms from the inflammation and pain.  

You can read more about CBD’s anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and other health benefits by reading our blog: “What Is CBD?”

 
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However, these are not options you should use in lieu of doctor-led treatments. They can relieve pain and inflammation in the short term, however, you will want to develop a treatment plan for your long-term joint care and function.

Arthritis:

how it's diagnosed

While your general practitioner may be able to diagnose your pain as arthritic in nature or even identify the specific condition, seeing an orthopedic surgeon or a  rheumatologist is your best bet for receiving an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. First visit your primary care physician, who will then recommend a specialist if you need one.  Many primary care physicians are perfectly capable of taking care of basic arthritic symptoms too. 

Arthritis, especially if it’s time-related, is a condition that you will likely be managing for quite a while. It is very likely your doctor will recommend lifestyle changes, including changes to your diet, exercise routine, and more. They may put you on a supplement or prescription regimen depending on the severity of your condition. You may be referred for surgery or a physical therapy regimen as well.

Unfortunately, arthritis is typically incurable, but you can slow your joint degeneration and reduce your pain with mindful lifestyle changes. Talk to your doctor today if you believe you’re suffering from arthritis – it’s never too early to begin creating a long-term treatment plan.

At Well Theory, it is our mission to help you live vibrantly with easily-incorporated, small habits and lifestyle changes. Everyone ages; however, you can learn how to age well and maintain function over time. 

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