Playing sports? THIS is what you need to do to protect your joints

America loves sports. But the good news, we’re no longer satisfied in the passive role of an observer. More and more Americans are actively participating in various kinds of athletic activities. It’s easy to spot in parks and in the neighborhood – people are running, biking, rollerblading, Nordic walking, playing basketball and football… The era of the couch potato is coming to an end. It seems like we’re finally realizing that physical activity is the absolute best way to maintain a healthy body and mind (especially since physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins – aka ‘the happiness hormone’ – and has proven to be of great help in addressing symptoms of depression).

 

The benefits of exercising on a regular basis are numerous: better cardiovascular health, better posture, stronger bones and muscles, better immunity, better mood – just to name a few. But exercising doesn’t come without any risk. We often hear about different injuries that can not only be painful but also prevent a person from maintaining their active lifestyle, forcing them to withdraw from physical activity for a period of time. Can those injuries be prevented? Are there ways we can protect our bones and joints from getting hurt? Of course we can – in fact, taking proper preventive measures can reduce the risk of an injury to minimum. In this article, you will find out the best ways to keep your joints injury-proof – keep on reading!

1. Nutrition

Nutrition plays a big part in maintaining a healthy body, including bones, joints and muscles, i.e., those parts of our body that are most prone to injury during physical activity. To what extent does food influence our bodies? According to Dr. Mark Hayman: “Food has the power to heal us. It is the most potent tool we have to help prevent and treat many of our chronic diseases.” What usually causes joints to hurt – i.e. stiffness, swelling and overall discomfort – is inflammation. If you experience any of these symptoms, steer clear of foods that increase the level of inflammation in the body – refined sugar, highly processed foods, saturated fats, etc. Instead, go for foods that can actually decrease inflammation and therefore keep your joints in good shape. Here are just some of the products that can benefit you if you live an active lifestyle:

  • Sweet peppers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brazil nuts
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Cherries
  • Green tea
  • Ginger
  • Butternut squash
  • Mushrooms
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya1

2. Minimizing stress on the joints

Most injuries occur when the joint becomes overburdened, meaning there is too much stress put on it for a long period of time. For example, if you always stick to one form of activity (that uses a particular group of muscles), try to mix it up to engage other joints and muscles. If you run, make sure to also take time to do exercises that engage the upper body, such as weight lifting or rowing. Also, during your exercise routine, don’t kill your joints with bad form. Just a slight change of angle can actually take a lot of stress off your joints (e.g., during sit-ups). If you’re not sure if you’re doing the exercises the right way, your best option is to consult a professional personal trainer who can correct your posture and form and make sure you’re not hurting your joints. And don’t forget to use protective gear!

3. The forgotten art of the… warm-up

Did you know that a proper warm-up session can reduce the risk of an injury? According to research conducted by Medline (1966-April 2005), SPORTDiscus (1966-April 2005) and PubMed (1966-April 2005), taking the time to warm up before any physical activity can actually reduce the risk of injury. To quote the conclusion of the study: “Three [of five] of the studies found that performing a warm-up prior to performance significantly reduced the injury risk”2

 

What qualifies as a good warm-up? It only takes a few minutes to prepare your joints to work out. Do some stretching or light exercise (high knees, jumping jacks) and you’re ready to go. According to our orthopaedic surgeon in Boca Raton, warming up your joints and muscles before working out can keep them injury-proof!

Sports medicine in Boca Raton – About Orthopaedic Surgery Associates

Our doctors work with professional athletes on a regular basis. Football players, runners, tennis players – they all come visit our two practices in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach for medical advice. Our specialists of Sports medicine in Boca Raton are Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Stucken. They are both team physicians for Major League Lacrosse’s YTFlorida Launch. Whether you are a professional or an amateur, you need to take good care of your joints – after all, they have to last you a lifetime! If you’d like to consult one of our orthopaedic surgeons in Boca Raton or Boynton Beach, we are here for you. Our professional team of orthopedic physicians will take good care of you. Visit our website for more information or give us a call if you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists of Orthopedics in Palm Beach County. We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

This article was written on behalf of the practice by RedCastle Services. RedCastle specializes in Online Marketing for Doctors, including Medical SEO, SEO for doctors, and Medical Website Design. Contact RedCastle Services today to find out how we can help your practice increase its number of online patient referrals.