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Keeping Your Joints Healthy: What Can You Do at Home to Help?

jointsMany people who require a mobility aid do so because of a physical condition they can do nothing about, whether it’s disability, injury, or something else. However, for others the mobility aid is required due to pain and restriction in the joints that could be avoided or improved. By making adjustments to your lifestyle – and sticking with them – it may be possible to reduce the amount you need a mobility aid in daily life. But what changes could you make to keep you joints healthy?

Losing Excess Weight Will Reduce Joint Pressure

Arguably the most common cause of avoidable joint issues is being overweight. The extra weight on your frame requires your joints to do more work than they should have to, resulting in pain and inflammation. By adopting a healthier diet and doing exercise where possible – more on that later – you’ll notice an improvement in pain and mobility levels. More specifically, it’s estimated that for every pound of excess weight lost it can reduce the pressure on the knees by four pounds, a common problem area for many.

Exercise Will Support and Nourish Your Joints

Exercise may be the last thing you want to do when your joints hurt, but its benefits are undisputable. It’s best to start with a form of aerobic exercise that will go easy on your joints, so avoid running and choose something like swimming instead. The benefit of partaking in this aerobic exercise is that it will help increase blood flow, helping keep the cartilage in your joints nourished and healthy. This will help reduce discomfort. As the pain drops, you could consider introducing higher impact aerobic exercise.

Anotherjoints form of exercise that can help is strength training. Of course, heavy weights can have a negative effect on areas like the knee joint, but lighter weights – or even bodyweight – are much gentler. By building muscular strength you can take some of the strain away from your joints as there is more surrounding muscle to support them. Essentially, the muscle acts like a shock absorber when there is impact.

Also Add in Stretches

An extension of exercise to help joints is stretching. Like aerobic exercise this helps nourish the joints, but instead of doing so with blood flow it does so with the fluid in the joint. This will reduce stiffness and wear and tear. You can do this with basic stretches or through a regime like yoga.

Consider Supplements or Medication

If you find that a change in lifestyle doesn’t quite have the results you were hoping for, then it may be worth considering supplements or medication. Supplements are the most basic medical consumable you can use that may help. Glucosamine and chondroitin are two that have shown benefits to joint health in some studies, but they are yet to be proven to be definitively effective.

The next step up from this is over the counter painkillers that provide short-term relief during the most painful moments. Familiar medications such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, and aspirin can potentially provide sufficient pain relief. However, always follow the dosage and if you’re taking it daily for a long period of time it may not continue to be effective.

Each of these treatments for joint pain can be undertaken at home and may help your mobility. However, should your joint pain be extremely severe or fail to improve visit your doctor for further diagnosis and treatment.