Preserve Your Aging Joints
Jogging, tennis, racquetball—a lot of active baby boomers have been tough on their knees, hips, and other joints all their lives. And while joint replacement surgery is safe and effective, there’s an alternative: taking steps to care for the joints you already have. Be kind to your joints by:
- Eating a healthy diet. Healthy eating helps maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds can cause extra stress and wear and tear on joints.
- Staying active. Exercise protects joints by strengthening the muscles that support them.
- Swapping high-impact sports with low-impact activities. Instead of tennis, racquetball, or running, try swimming, water aerobics, walking, or biking.
- Getting enough rest. Alternating strenuous activities with rest puts less stress on sensitive joints. Poor sleep can make arthritis pain and fatigue worse.
- Using over-the-counter or prescription medications to control pain and inflammation. You can also receive injections of corticosteroids directly in painful joints.
- Taking part in physical or occupational therapy. This can increase joint flexibility, muscle strength, and your ability to perform everyday activities.
- Using mechanical aids. Braces, crutches, walkers, or canes may offer some help.
When to Replace Joints
Sometimes, these lifestyle changes may be enough to improve function and control pain. But if you have any of the following signs, speak with your doctor about joint replacement:
- Your joint pain continues while resting.
- Your joint pain makes it hard for you to do normal activities like getting out of a chair, going up stairs, or walking more than a short distance.
- You’ve tried different noninvasive treatments, including pain medications, and they’re not controlling your joint pain.
Get off the Bench
Spending summer on the sidelines? If you’re eager to put your aches and pains in the past, our orthopedic care and Joint Replacement Center can bring relief: