Holiday Tips for Maintaining Healthy Joints
There’s often so much going on during the holidays – shopping, baking, spending time with family – that it can be easy to forget about your personal health. But taking care of yourself, including healthy joint maintenance, is so important for long-term well-being. Here are some ways you can take care of yourself and your joints this holiday season!
Preserve Healthy Habits to Maintain Healthy Joints
Christmas cookies, eggnog, the list of holiday treats goes on! While there’s no harm in enjoying a few treats with family and friends around the holidays, it’s important to remember not to overdo it. Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet is key to promoting overall health, including strong joints. Eating healthy foods full of fiber and healthy fats can help keep your weight at a manageable level, which in turn can reduce the amount of pressure on your joints. Too much pressure on your joints can lead to deterioration of your cartilage and joint tissue.
In addition to eating a well-balanced diet during the holiday season, regular exercise is essential to managing your fitness. Exercise can help reduce the risk of being overweight and strengthen the muscles around your joints, which further protects them from wear and tear. To best support your joints through exercise, focus on strengthening movements that target the muscles around your joints.
Pilates or yoga are great options for low-impact workouts that protect your joints while strengthening the surrounding area. When considering exercise, it is also helpful to mix up your routine. Engage different muscles to give your body time to recover from various workouts. So have fun with your exercise program this holiday season – take an evening walk or join a local sports team to stay active in an enjoyable, stress-free environment all while keeping those joints healthy!
Drink Fluids to Keep your Joints Lubricated
Drinking an adequate amount of water can lubricate the joints and surrounding tissues, which helps reduce pain and stiffness not just in your joints but in your muscles too. This can be especially important for people with arthritis who suffer from joint pain. Proper hydration also aids in allowing healthy movement of joint capsules, or small sacs of fluid that form around each joint space. This provides even more protection against pain and discomfort. So whether you’re at home cozying up by the fire or miles away visiting family this season, make sure you’re getting at least 8 glasses of water a day to support healthy joints!
Stretch to Increase Your Range of Motion and Prevent Injury
Stretching regularly is one of the best gifts you can give your body! In addition to improving blood flow, alleviating stress, and promoting healthy sleep, it also keeps your muscles flexible and joints nimble. Taking time to stretch before high-intensity physical activity can help decrease the risk of injury as it increases your range of motion, enabling your body to perform specific motions without causing injury. While stretching has numerous benefits for everyone, especially active individuals, it is also essential to maintain proper stretching techniques. This includes warming up your muscles prior to stretching so you don’t end up with torn muscles, stretching both sides of your body, holding your stretch for at least 30 seconds, and customizing your stretching routine to the specific activities you plan to do. These tips will help to ensure that you keep your muscles and joints healthy as you exercise.
Use Heat or Cold Therapy to Relieve Joint Pain and Inflammation
If you’re already experiencing joint pain, using heat or cold therapy can be an effective way to relieve your discomfort. Heat helps relax sore muscles and improves circulation around the joint, while cold has a numbing effect on the area, which can provide relief from swelling.
Heat therapy targets muscles, tendons, and ligaments near your joints, helping to strengthen them and relieve tension. It can also heal damaged tissue around your joints. There are two methods for applying heat therapy – dry and moist. Dry heat therapy involves the use of a heating pad or dry heat pack, while moist therapy involves warm towels or a hot bath. Both methods can effectively soothe the area and help you relax.
Cold therapy can be used for shorter periods of time to reduce swelling but should not be used if you’re experiencing muscle or joint stiffness. Ice packs or ice baths are a good way to apply cold therapy at home.
Let G2 Help You Maintain Healthy Joints
If you do experience joint pain or discomfort that does not go away with at-home remedies, reach out to G2 Orthopedics. Rather than following a one-size-fits-all approach, Dr. Goradia fully evaluates each patient and their unique circumstances to make an accurate diagnosis and develop a customized treatment plan to help his patients manage their joint pain. Dr. Goradia is board-certified in Orthopedic Surgery and is a nationally recognized expert in arthroscopic surgery, sports medicine, and joint replacement. Experienced in both the tried-and-true treatments as well as the latest cutting-edge technology, Dr. Goradia draws upon his wide breadth of expertise to ensure each patient receives the highest quality of care possible.