What You Can Do About Joint Wear and Tear

· 8th June 2015

Joint wear and tear is something that happens to all of us as we get older. It is a particular problem if you have a physical occupation or play a lot of sport. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to just accept it as an inevitable part of getting older and ignore the situation. Joint problems can lead to arthritis or osteoarthritis when left unchecked. Here are a few ideas regarding what you can do about it.

If you start feeling pain in your knees or wrists, you should go and have a chat with your doctor. If your problems are caused by joint wear and tear, then acting early can be very beneficial. It may prevent arthritis and osteoarthritis, which are even more painful and impossible to cure.

The causes of joint wear and tear?

Here are the most common causes:

  • Age: Joints deteriorate as the years go by simply because they are starting to wear out because they have been used so much.
  • Genetics: Many joint problems are hereditary. In particular, osteoarthritis is thought to run in families.
  • Weight: Obesity causes stress in joints, especially the knees and hips, since all of the weight of the body rests on them when you are standing up and walking.
  • Physical activity: Carrying heavy loads for a prolonged period of time, or always carrying a heavy bag on the same side of your body, will cause your joints to be more overworked.

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  • Profession: The job that you have could cause the development of arthritis or osteoarthritis.
  • Injury: Any injury or trauma to a joint increases the risk of developing wear and tear problems in later years.
  • Humidity: If you live or work in a humid climate, your joints tend to wear out more easily. The same is true if you spend a lot of time in the water.
  • Food: Food has a close relationship with joint problems. Some foods cause too much uric acid in the body and this can form crystals in the joints causing gout which is very painful.

Common symptoms of joint wear and tear

The following symptoms could be a sign that you are developing joint problems:

  • Joint stiffness and lack of flexibility 
  • Regular and localised joint pain
  • General weakness and fatigue
  • Sudden and severe pain in the joints and prickling or sharp pains in the muscles around joints. The pain often depends on outside temperature, humidity and weather.
  • Reddened and swollen joints that are painful to touch.
  • Excessive sweating during the night
  • Fever

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Remedies for joint wear and tear

These tips will help you to treat or lessen the pain that joint wear causes, so that you can enjoy a better quality of life.

  • Move your legs before getting up so that your weight doesn’t suddenly get transmitted through your knees and ankles. After sitting for a long time, move your legs around for a few minutes before getting up.
  • Take a rest regularly. If you spend all day on your feet – take regular 5 to 10 minute breaks sitting down.
  • Wear suitable footwear. Your shoes are there for support. The best option is close-toed shoes with a small heel or no heel at all with good arch support.
  • Be careful when carrying things: if you have to lift heavy objects at work, make sure you know how to lift safely, bending your knees. Make multiple trips rather than carry one heavy load.
  • Take care on stairs: you should be taking the stairs slowly, using the hand rail to support yourself and taking one step each time.

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Treating joint wear and tear with diet?

In addition to following the above recommendations, it’s a good idea to eat a healthy diet to protect your joints.

Drink a lot of water, so that you hydrate the joints. Make sure to get enough vitamins. Vitamin C helps you form collagen, bone tissue and cartilage and Vitamin A helps to strengthen and regenerate bones. Vitamin D is needed for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus – the two elements that can help you avoid osteoporosis and other bone problems. Eat oily fish rich in omega 3 for great joint health.

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