Our joints are some of the most complex parts of our bodies. We use them in pretty much every movement we make. Little wonder they are prone to injury. It is easy to overwork them, or over stretch them. Because of their complexity, our joints can be difficult to repair. They can also be subject to deterioration. We need to adopt a two-point strategy for taking care of them because quite frankly we can’t do without them.
Joints are essential connecting mechanisms in the body. They are made up of two types. Ball and socket and hinge joints. As the name implies ball and socket joints move around. These are your shoulder and hip joints. Hinge joints include elbows and knees. They don’t move around too much and, in fact, trying to get them to do that is what causes a lot of their injuries. Here are a few ways that you can look after your joints and, in particular, minimise any injury from sport or other activity.
Gentle Warm up.
All joints benefit from being warmed up. That will create heat and allow the joint to be more flexible and mobile. Before you begin any exercise programme spend some time gently moving your joints. Start with ankles and wrists. Move them slowly, first one way and then the other. Open and flex the fingers and toes.
Start to increase the range of movement. For arms and shoulders, slowly extend your arms out in front of you and then gradually lift your arms up. Stay with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Do not overextend. Allow yourself to stretch up and then release your arms and let them hang down. Shrug a few times and start to lift your shoulders and begin to rotate them gently. Do this in one direction and then reverse.
Make sure that you keep your knees slightly bent. This is true for many forms of exercise. This will ensure that they are protected and not locked. Moving with your whole body allow your head to come forward and bend over, bending your knees as you do so. When you have completed the movement to the extent of your reach, uncurl again slowly. Repeat this movement of bending forwards and straightening. If it feels okay, come into a very slight back bend, supporting your lower back or neck. Engage with this light warm up every morning and before starting any exercise programme.
Don’t over stretch.
It can be tempting to take the joints for granted. Make sure that you’re not overextending yourself in any activity. Unfortunately, high-impact sports such as running can take a toll on the joints. It is vital to make sure that you are wearing footwear that can absorb the impact of the ground. Knees and ankles are particularly prone. If you suspect that you have any issues at all with knees or any joints, seek a professional opinion. If you read about knee injury & knee pain treatment you’ll not only be better informed you will be able to recognise your symptoms and get help if you need it.
Choose exercise that will help the joints stay strong and flexible. Stay away from high impact sports that could damage the body. If that is not possible, wear a protective stocking. Focus on activities such as yoga that will gently stretch and open joints without damage and even build up strength. Look after your joints and they will serve you well.