Keep Your Joints Healthy
Regardless of what medical treatment you choose to pursue to treat joint pain, there are certain steps you can take to improve the health of your joints and keep them healthy. Our bodies are always undergoing constant change, in response to a changing environment. That response is mediated primarily by 3 elements: the nervous system, the immune system, and the hormonal system. Good health demands constant adaptation and compensation. If those systems are not able to adapt and respond, our health deteriorates, and illness appears. As we age, our bodies lose the ability to adapt. Therefore, it becomes more important to make the right lifestyle choices in order to maintain good health. These are the steps that lead to healthier joints:
1) Stop smoking – If you are a smoker, this is the #1 thing you can do to improve your joint health as well as your overall health.
2) Maintain a healthy weight – Being overweight not only put more stress in the joints, but it also predisposes you to other health conditions that may affect your joints: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. If your joints degenerate and you need medical treatment, being overweight is a predictor of poor outcome for almost any medical procedure you may have done.
3) Eat a healthy diet – This is important, not only to maintain a healthy weight, but also because there are many foods that trigger inflammation. It is wide to avoid foods with processed sugars, high fat content, high nitrites, or with artificial preservatives.
4) Nutritional supplementation: Everyone should take high quality multivitamins daily. In addition to that, Vitamin C, Vitamin D-3, Fish oil, and glucosamine/chondroitin are highly recommended for their anti-inflammatory properties. Other supplements like DHEA and Co-Q10 will also be of benefit.
5) Get enough sleep – Your body recovers while you sleep. Sleep is restorative and regenerative. At least 8 hours per night is recommended.
6) Stay active – Staying active is important to maintain general health and joint health. If you don’t your muscles, ligaments, and tendons get weak. They stop providing adequate support to your joints leading to increased wear and tear and degeneration. Clinical studies have shown that even patients with severe osteoarthritis benefit from mild exercise.
7) Find other ways (if possible) to lower your cholesterol other than taking statin drugs – Statin drugs cause muscle weakness, joint pain, and they inhibit your body’s healing process. Furthermore, statin drugs are harmful to your stem cells. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating right, and exercising regularly go a long way in controlling cholesterol levels.
8) Make sure your hormones are optimized – If your thyroid level is low, or if you have low testosterone, or if your Estrogen/Progesterone is out of balance, your body’s ability to heal is compromised. This is an often overlooked factor for general health and joint health.