Your everyday life and health can often suffer setbacks as you age. All of a sudden, walking starts to give you knee pain, leaning over to pick up the groceries causes shooting pains in your back, or sitting for any length of time becomes uncomfortable. Back pain, arthritis and other joint and muscle pains tend to creep up on you, and next thing you know, you cannot comfortably do half of the things you used to enjoy. What can you do? Thankfully, there are plenty of solutions to help you fend off the pain.
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to keep your joints healthy. Joints that bear body weight, such as the back, hips and knees, get overworked and strained by extra weight. A good diet and exercise can help lead to a healthy weight.
Your nutrition is a key factor in eliminating joint and muscle pain, since nutrition helps build a strong body, and a strong body includes strong bones and muscles. Your bones need a daily supply of calcium, and a healthy intake of vitamin D will help your body properly absorb that calcium. Your muscles need proper nutrition as well, so protein is necessary to allow the tissue to properly repair itself over time.
Exercise is necessary to keep joint pain away. Stretching and basic exercise such as walking is beneficial in that it keeps your joints from becoming stiff, swollen and painful. More involved exercise can lend wonderful benefits to your joints and overall well-being. Low-impact exercises such as biking and especially swimming can be great activities that are soft on your joints but still offer a quality workout.
If you and your joints are able to perform more intensive exercises, then aerobic and weight-training exercises can further strengthen your joints and muscles. Aerobic exercises have been shown to help reduce joint swelling, while weight training directly strengthens the muscles and joints. Building a strong core is vital to keeping your joints, especially your back and hips, healthy. A strong core will take stress off the back because your abdominal muscles will be properly handling your body weight. Similarly, healthy core muscles will improve your posture and relieve neck and shoulder strain.
Joint & Muscle Pain in Children
If your children begin to experience joint and muscle pain, specifically back pain, setting them up with some of the advice detailed here could be a first step, but if it persists, the page under HealthQuest Chiropractic promotes more that could be done. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association recently conducted research, which concluded that spinal manipulative therapy is both successful and safe in treating children of all ages. The Chiropractic & Kids page lists several reasons why children should receive chiropractic care, including to encourage good neural plasticity, to encourage good spinal posture, to support their child’s overall health and well-being, and much more.
You need to know what feels right for you and what your own personal limits are. Some exercises might not be beneficial to you and could even be harmful. Always get permission from your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. With a proper weight, diet and exercise, your joints will start to be less painful and you will be on your way to a new and healthier you!