Protecting Your Joints from Arthritis

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We all know that it’s important to take care of our bodies – but what about our joints? Our rheumatology experts at St. Elizabeth Physicians weigh in with simple and practical tips to maximize your joint health each day.

Get moving!

It’s great to be active – just be aware that high-impact sports like basketball, soccer, volleyball and football can be tough on your joints, especially your knees. Wear supportive braces if you need to, invest in good shoes and make sure to listen to your body. Our experts recommend swimming, elliptical or yoga as non-impact alternatives to mix into your workout routine.

Keep those joints protected at work

You spend a lot of time at work, which makes it a perfect place to be mindful of your joints. If you are sitting at a desk, make sure your chair is supporting your lower and middle back. Try to type with your elbows at a 90-degree angle to your keyboard. For standing desks or jobs where you are constantly on your feet, try to be mindful of using good posture and shifting your weight occasionally.

Stretch, stretch and stretch a little more

It’s amazing how something so simple can make such a big impact. Stretching helps get your blood moving to the joints, helping to decrease stiffness and pain. If you sit a lot during the day, try to walk around every 30 minutes.

Keep an eye on the scale

We all know that extra weight isn’t good for our body, but it can also have an impact on your joints. Each extra pound of body weigh can add the equivalent of six pounds of stress to your joints.

Be sensible with your shoes

High heels can throw off the alignment of your knees, hips and back. If you’re wearing heels daily at work, pack sensible shoes for before and after work. High heels put your feet in an unnatural position, so be on the lookout for opportunities to switch out your heels with more joint-friendly shoes whenever possible.

Hydrate

We all know it’s true: drinking water is critical to our health. But did you know cartilage is made up of mostly water? Cartilage is more susceptible to injury when we’re not fully hydrated. Aim for half your body weight in ounces or eight glasses of water a day.

Beware of smoking

Did you know that smoking can increase your risk factors for developing osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis? Smoking compromises your overall health, causing a host of complications including being less responsive to certain arthritis treatments and an increased risk of developing interstitial lung cancer. Smoking also contributes to the faster progression of wear and tear on the joints, especially in the knees.

Vitamin D to the rescue

Talk with your physician about adding a Vitamin D supplement into your daily routine. Vitamin D is essential for bone health and can even help to slow the progression of osteoarthritis. It can also muscle movement and fights inflammation.

Attend Living Without Limits

Join us for our Living Without Limits education series on April 16 to learn more about the effects of arthritis on your joints and treatment options available at St. Elizabeth. Register for free today!

Walk with us

Did you know May is National Arthritis Month? St. Elizabeth Healthcare is a proud local partner in the Cincinnati Walk to Cure Arthritis. This year’s event kicks off at Sawyer Point on May 19 at 9 a.m. Join our St. Elizabeth team as we walk together to find a cure for arthritis.

St. Elizabeth Rheumatology: Your Partner in Joint Health

St. Elizabeth Physicians Rheumatology is here for all of your joint needs, from aches and pains to autoimmune disorders. Call (859) 344-1900 for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our rheumatological experts.