Fight against your joint stiffness and pain with these tips!
Getting old starts getting old as soon as we notice our bodies don’t bounce back the way that they used to. If we are not careful, pain and injuries can become chronic and lead to a common arthritic condition known as osteoarthritis (OA). OA affects the fluidity of the body’s joints, breaking down the cushion-like cartilage between joints and bones. As the cartilage deteriorates, the body will swell during certain exercises or activities, creating stiffness and pain as well as limiting range of motion.
Also known as “wear and tear arthritis,” the common condition finds a prominent place in athletes and workout fanatics. The most common places that OA strikes are in the hips, knees, fingers, and feet.
While there is no cure necessarily, there are ways that you can prevent OA or reduce its symptoms. Here are three options.
You want to maintain your range of motion as much as possible. While too much repetition of certain exercises can make OA worse, such as kneeling or twisting, low-impact exercises that combine strength training, stretching, and aerobic movement can help prevent the condition from setting in or worsening. Think of movement as a lubricant to your muscles, joints, and bones. Always warm up and cool down before and after your workouts in order to loosen your muscles and prepare your joints for action.
OA is a common development of overexercise. When you feel pain or notice any swelling around your joints, back off until these symptoms have subsided. Imagine your fitness journey is a marathon. Taking a couple days off will help your long term goal of exercising late into life. Pushing yourself through injury will only speed up OA, promote or sustain injury, and leave you unable to workout without chronic pain. Make sure to listen to your body and take a break when necessary.
High blood sugar can lead to stiff muscles, inflammation, and a breakdown of cartilage. While those with diabetes are more likely to develop OA, they can prevent it by maintaining their blood sugar levels and keeping their diet in check. Same goes for non-diabetics. It’s important to reduce your body’s inflammation through limiting high-sugar, high-carb, and processed foods.