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Taking Care of Your Joints

A joint is a structure that connects two bones. Joints and its surrounding structures allow a human to bend their elbows and their back, as well as to turn their head (1).

How to Preserve Your Joint Health?

1. Exercise to Have Healthy Joints
Exercise can help to preserve your joints by helping you to lose extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Not only will it help you to achieve a normal weight but also reduce joint swelling due to pressure from excessive weight. It is recommended to do moderate-intensity activities such as cycling or swimming to maintain healthy joint health.

2. Correct Your Posture for Good Joints
Bad posture such as slouching adds stress to your spine and strains your joints. A good way to preserve your joints is by standing and sitting up straight. To find the correct posture, you may do so by standing with your back against a wall. Posture is extremely important especially when you are lifting or carrying things. For example, if you are carrying a backpack, make sure to carry it on both of your shoulders and avoid slinging it over one (1).

3. Incorporate Variety of Colours into Your Diet
What you eat can help to keep your joints stay strong. It is best to choose fruits and vegetables of a wide variety of colours to meet the recommended nutrient intake. To protect your joints, make sure you are getting enough calcium a day. You can do this by eating dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese as well as by avoiding processed foods, caffeine, and sugar to reduce joint inflammation.

 Choose Comfortable Shoes
Choosing the right shoes for your feet is as important as choosing a healthy diet for your body. Wearing the wrong shoes can add stress to your feet and affect your joints, causing more damage and complications later. For example, wearing high heels is bad for the feet as it can wear down joints. Studies have shown that wearing stilettos or other heels has contributed to foot pain and arthritis (2). This will also increase the risk of knee joint degeneration. Thus, choosing the right shoe can reduce or eliminate foot pain and preserve your joint health.

5. Take Over-The-Counter Joint Supplements
Glucosamine and chondroitin are the two most common remedies to combat joint pains. As we age, our glucosamine levels drop. Glucosamine, a natural component found in our body, helps to slow the deterioration of cartilage and has anti-inflammatory properties. Whereas for chondroitin, it helps to reduce joint pain and improve joint function while slowing the progression of osteoarthritis.

1. Majithia, V., & Geraci, S. A. (2007). Rheumatoid Arthritis: Diagnosis and Management. American Journal of Medicine.
2. Dufour, A. B., Broe, K. E., Nguyen, U. S. D. T., Gagnon, D. R., Hillstrom, H. J., Walker, A. H., … Hannan, M. T. (2009). Foot pain: Is current or past shoewear a factor? Arthritis Care and Research, 61(10), 1352–1358.

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