No matter the age group, joint and muscle pain is becoming more and more common. In fact, in the U.S alone, one in seven people experience some sort of orthopedic condition. Knowing this, it’s unsurprising that orthopedic discomfort is one of the most common motivators for a trip to the doctor.
For people struggling with orthopedic pain, it’s daunting to consider the fact that relief may require invasive medical procedures and/or regular physical therapy sessions. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can improve your orthopedic health at home and prevent chronic conditions in the long run.
1. Regular Activity
Daily activity is the foundation for maintaining a healthy life. Further, regular exercise is essential to maximizing bone health, preserving joints and strengthening your skeletal system. Chronic conditions like arthritis cause decreased mobility and flexibility, inhibiting you from moving through your daily activities; if you experience pain or discomfort from a preexisting condition, incorporating low-impact exercises like walking or swimming will help to further stretch and strengthen your body without added intensity. Before partaking in any kind of activity, make sure your body is prepared to move by warming up for 5-10 minutes.
2. Healthy Diet
Adopting a healthy diet is a simple way to improve your overall orthopedic health. Remember as a child when you were told that drinking milk will strengthen your bones? It’s a tale old as time: increasing your vitamin D and calcium intake improves bone density as you age. As you opt for a nutritionally balanced diet, it’s important to incorporate whole foods as they tend to be higher in vitamins and minerals. For example, a 5-ounce piece of salmon has around 1,200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agent.
3. Comfortable Clothing
The clothing you wear has a large impact on your orthopedic health, starting with footwear. Surprisingly, ill-fitting footwear is one of the most common causes of foot, ankle and knee pain. Whether you’re walking, standing or running, shoes that are too tight, too big or have weak soles can decrease circulation to your feet and hamper muscle elasticity. It’s important to opt for comfortable footwear that allows for full support and even weight distribution throughout your day.
4. Good Posture
Whether you work a desk job or are on your feet all day, poor posture is a leading cause of chronic neck and back pain. While many people succumb to slumped shoulders and curved spines by the end of the day, chronic pain as a result of poor posture is easily preventable. No matter if you are standing or sitting, keeping your shoulders back and down will help avoid constricting your nerves and blood vessels—a pain that can affect your muscles, joints and spinal discs altogether.
At NorthCrest Health, our team of orthopedic specialists is committed to providing exceptional orthopedic care. We strive to provide solutions that are both comfortable and convenient for your unique health needs. To learn more about our orthopedic services, visit our website or give us a call at (615) 382-5204.