How to Protect Your Aging Joints

Posted on

Oct 08, 2020

There are simple ways to protect your joints, reduce strain, and improve how you function each day as you age. Here are nine tips that could make a big difference:



Replace energy drinks and soda with water
Water makes up about 80 percent of your bodys cartilage. If you dont stay well-hydrated, your body pulls water from cartilage and other areas, which can wreak havoc on your joints.


Hang out at the salad bar
Popular salad bar veggies such as romaine and Bibb lettuce, broccoli, spinach, kale and parsley can slow cartilage destruction and reduce bone loss that occurs with age.


Move around
Alternate between sitting and standing to prevent stiffness and strain and make time for simple stretches throughout the day.


Kick butt
People who smoke have a greater risk of fracture than nonsmokers. In fact, smoking can reduce bone mass, which can lead to osteoporosis.


Resolve to reduce
Each extra pound you gain puts four times the stress on your knees. The flip side is that even a small amount of weight loss will give your knees relief. Losing as little as 11 pounds can improve joint health and cut your risk of knee osteoarthritis by 50 percent.


Build strong bones
A diet rich in calcium helps keep your bones sturdy and can lower your risk of osteoporosis. Try these non-milk sources: yogurt, broccoli, kale, figs, salmon and calcium supplements.


Cut back on caffeine
While you may like that extra burst of energy in the morning, resist those extra cups of coffee. Extra caffeine can weaken your bones.


Take your vitamins
Taking a multivitamin is a good way to get the nutrients you may lack in your diet. Strong joints benefit from bone-building calcium and vitamin K, tissue-repairing vitamin C, pain-relieving vitamin E, folic acid and more.


Try low-impact exercise
Low-impact exercise can offer the same calorie-burning benefits without the painful pounding. Golfing, swimming, yoga, Tai Chi, and cycling are easier on the joints.

Editors Note: This article was submitted by Elise Itano, MD. Dr. Itano is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist (also known as a physiatrist) with Boulder Medical Center. She may be reached at 303-666-2651. Learn more about Dr. Itano at www.bouldermedicalcenter.com.

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