7 Easy Ways to Improve Joint Health
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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