The human musculoskeletal system is an amazing structure made up of no less than 206 bones, about 600 muscles, and numerous tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissue supporting and binding tissues and organs together. Nevertheless, unless you take good care of your body, your joints can easily succumb to wear-and-tear arthritis, degenerative disease, or preventable injuries – especially as you get older.
Maintaining optimal joint health is easier said than done unless you take the right steps as early and diligently as possible. Let’s talk about some of the key ways in which you can reinforce your joint strength, and where you can go in Raleigh and the Triangle area to see a Duke-educated orthopedic surgeon who specializes in keeping you healthy and active.
What Your Orthopedic Surgeon Recommends for Healthy Joints
Here is what your friendly neighborhood orthopedic surgeon recommends that you do to help keep your joints in top working condition for years to come:
- Be active and keep moving. It doesn’t do a body good to stay in one position all the time – such as when you are at work sitting at a desk, driving in a car, or relaxing at home. You want to be comfortable wherever you are, but be sure to get up periodically and move around, and stretch as often as possible so your joints and muscles don’t get stiff. Conversely, if you must be on your feet all day, take a little time to sit down and raise your feet every hour or so. By all means, relax when needed, but limit the time you spend sitting or lying on the couch or your favorite easy chair.
- Mind your posture. Make your workstation as ergonomic as possible. When seated, sit up straight with your shoulders back, and your eyes focusing straight ahead or slightly below eye level. (Looking upward too much can cause eyestrain and neck strain.) Also, avoid what has been coined as “tech neck,” which can happen from constantly looking down at your phone, and bending your neck, for extended periods of time.
- Choose low-impact exercises. Keep in mind that sports and activities that involve running, jumping, and abruptly changing direction tend to wear out the joints in the long run, making you susceptible to arthritis. On the other hand, low-impact and no-impact workouts such as walking, swimming, cycling, low-impact aerobics, or Pilates can help strengthen rather than stress out your joints.
- Stretch frequently. Being flexible is important in maintaining the strength and durability of your joints, so keep them limber by stretching your body throughout the day. Focus in particular on your spine, which bears much of your body’s weight and sustains constant pressure. Stretching will help to prevent the cartilage in your vertebrae from wearing out.
- Shed any excess weight. The leading contributor to knee arthritis is being overweight, so stick to a healthy diet and/or exercise regimen to maintain a healthy weight for your height and gender.
Experienced Raleigh Orthopedic Surgeons
The best way to maintain optimal joint health is by consulting with a highly skilled Raleigh orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Brett Gilbert.
Dr. Gilbert is board-certified with advanced fellowship training in hip and knee replacement surgery. If you are experiencing chronic joint pain, Dr. Gilbert can provide an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment options for your specific condition that are as pain-free as possible.
Dr. Gilbert can also provide a second opinion on your condition and explain the alternative treatments that are available to you. He can advise you about how to prevent orthopedic injury and enjoy a better, pain-free quality of life.
To schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Gilbert, call us today at (919) 788-8797 or, if you prefer, use our convenient online form to request an appointment. We look forward to seeing you here!