Why You Need to Take Care of Your Joints NOW (and How)

Here are the most common causes of aching joints, and how you can keep them pain-free.

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Suffering with joint pain is a stressful business. Whether it's throbbing back
pain or sore, aching ankles, pain can stop you dead in its tracks,
throwing daily chores and work commitments into complete disarray. 

Suffering
with painful joints can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety, no
matter what age you are. But the bad news? Those niggling aches won't
just go away. The older you get, the worse those aches and pains are
likely to get, so ignoring them when you're younger won't do you any
favours at all. In fact, when you reach your forties, it will make life
that much more difficult, and the pain a whole lot worse. 

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It's
pretty rare for anyone over the age of 45 not to have suffered with
some form of joint pain or stiffness, and you can bet your life that the
majority of those affected have all ignored the early warning signs. 

Joints
may be clever things; they roll, glide, rotate and bend allowing our
bodies to jump, run, walk, hop, dance – you name it, they can do it –
but they're also sensitive things, that, like anything, are subject to
wear and tear, so you need to protect them early on in life to prevent
unnecessary suffering later. 

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There are a number of reasons your joints get worse as you get older.
Age of course being the main culprit. But besides ageing, poor diets,
hormonal changes, excessive exercise and even weight gain can all put
pressure on sore joints, making the pain worse in later years, and in
some cases cause more serious illnesses developing like arthritis and
osteoarthritis. 

Here are the most common causes of joint pain, and what you can do now to stop the pain from getting worse as you get older. 

1. Bad posture

It's
the most common cause of back and neck pain, and a lot of the time it's
from sitting incorrectly at your desk. Make sure you move around as
much as you can during the day, to encourage a little movement in your
joints. Stand up tall whenever you can, and take up yoga or pilates,
something to help build your core and straighten and strengthen your
back. 

2. Excessive exercise 

It
will come as no surprise that if you over-do it your joints will start
to suffer, particularly if you ignore any niggling warning signs.
Exercise is always good, but too much will put unnecessary pressure on
joints and risk further damage to cartilage. Listen to your body and
take it easy. It will tell you when it wants you to stop. If you start
to experience pain after exercise, then your best bet is to rest until
the pain has subsided. Don't run on a painful knee, as this could only
exacerbate the existing injury further, and increase the chances of
developing more serious illnesses like osteoarthritis later on in life.
It's best to avoid high-impact sports like running and opt for something
that will help to soothe and strengthen your joints instead like
cycling or swimming. 

3. Heavy lifting

Trying
to lift a heavy chest of drawers on your own might sound like a good
idea, but the reality of lifting heavy objects alone is that you will
most likely cause yourself some serious damage. Get someone to help you
if it feels too heavy, and make sure you lift from the ground ensuring
sure your back is strong and supported. That way you'll avoid any
serious and embarrassing injuries. 

4. Poor diet

Eating
the wrong food, believe it or not, actually has a huge part to play
with joint pain, particularly if you already suffer from illnesses like
arthritis. There are certain foods that can increase inflammation like
sugar, saturated fats, refined carbohydrate gluten and alcohol – these
will only worsen your joint pain. What's more, your bones need nutrients
to keep them strong, so top up on vitamin D and B12 to strengthen and
vitamins A, C and E to protect against free-radicals. Stick to fruits,
complex carbohydrates like brown rice and wholegrain bread, oil-rich
nuts, avocado and oily fish like sardines and salmon, to decrease
inflammation and reduce pain naturally. 

5. Weight gain 

Not
only will the wrong foods weaken your bones and joints, they will also
cause you to gain weight causing unnecessary pressure on your joints.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet that's rich in vitamins and nutrients to
keep your weight and joints healthy and pain-free. 

6. Being inactive

As
with over-exercising, not exercising enough is also damaging for your
joint health.  Make sure you move around as much as possible to keep
your joints supple, and stretch out fully whenever you exercise. 

Via

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