1. Get Moving
If your joints ache, the last thing you may want to do is exercise. But movement is one of the best remedies for joint pain. Here are some joint-friendly activities that can boost strength and improve your mood:
- Low-impact activities like walking, cycling, and swimming
- Exercises that strengthen the muscles around your hips and knees
- Core-strengthening exercises
- Light weight training, yoga, and Pilates
As many gyms are closed and we try to maintain social distance, home exercises such as stretching and walking in and around the house to maintain mobility are especially important. Many fitness and yoga online classes and apps on your phone are now free and at home exercises bands are an inexpensive and portable substitute for weights.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Weight issues not only contribute to chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, but it can also contribute to joint pain. Every additional pound on our bodies is the equivalent of roughly four pounds of pressure on our hips and knees. The good news is that this math also works in reverse. Losing just 10 pounds can reduce 40 pounds of pressure on your joints!
3. Focus on Nutrition
Healthy eating can reduce joint pain by decreasing inflammation in the body. Consider:
- A diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, with a balance of lean proteins and complex carbohydrates.
- Taking supplements such as multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3s. (Check with your doctor first to find which ones are best for you.)
- Go for Color: The pigments that provide color to fruits and vegetables are powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the body. Fill your plate with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, such as:
- Greens: Dark leafy greens, broccoli, green peppers
- Reds: Berries, tomatoes, eggplants
- Yellows/Oranges: red/yellow/orange peppers
- White: Cauliflower
Optimize Your Omega-3s
- Incorporate 3-4 oz. servings of fish high in Omega-3 twice a week for the most benefit
- Use walnut oil and vinegar as a salad dressing
- Add chopped almonds to oatmeal
- Cook with olive oil instead of butter
4. At-Home Care
There are things you can do at home to tend to or limit joint pain:
- Use braces (e.g. a knee brace)
- Apply ice packs to joints after activities and in the evening
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Aleve, Advil, Motrin)
For more help in managing your joint pain during this challenging time, call 336-716-WAKE (9253) or visit Get Care to schedule a video visit, phone, or email appointment with one of our Orthopaedic experts from the safety of your home.