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There are a variety of different ways that you can incorporate preventative care into your daily life to protect your joints. Two simple ways are having a proper posture and staying active. Having a proper posture will help with allowing your joints to be in the correct positions thus reducing stress on your joints, muscles and bones. Staying active, helps your joints remain flexible and healthy.
Proper Posture Properly Sit at your desk Leaning back, swiveling and slouching in your chair are bad for your posture. To sit properly you want to be sure you are sitting all the way back in your chair. It may help to place a lumbar cushion or small, rolled up towel behind your mid-back. Also, be sure to place your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees so they are the same height or slightly higher than your hips.
Texting too much If you find yourself on your phone throughout the day, be sure that you are stretching your neck often to avoid straining. It also will help if instead of tilting your head down to look at your phone that you hold the phone and move your eyes versus your head.
Be Careful not to slouch Be sure that when you are sitting you are not slouching as this puts stress on your spine. Your joints, bones and muscles can be strained if you are slouching. Not only does slouching impact your joints, bones and muscles, but also makes it harder on your digestive system and breathing.
No reclining while driving Often called low-riding, be sure you have proper posture while you drive. Don’t lock your legs, bend your knees slightly and pull your seat close to the steering wheel. You can also put a pillow or small rolled-up towel behind your back for more support.
The shoes you wear matter The shoes you wear really do matter, especially for women. Avoid wearing high heels, pumps or stilettos that over-arch your back by pushing the base of your spine forward. Shoes with good support for everyday wear will help with your posture, save the heels for special occasions.
Sleep the right way Choosing a firm mattress over a soft mattress will help the natural shape of your spine. And if you sleep on your side, be sure that you bend your knees just slightly. Your pillow should be level with your spine and for back sleepers a smaller pillow is better than a thick one.
Stand Tall When you are standing, be sure you straighten up to prevent posture problems. If you are not sure how to do this properly, pretend that you are at the doctor’s office having your height taken. Your ears should be centered over your shoulders, tuck in your chin and hold your head straight. Your knees should be straight, shoulders back, and your stomach tucked in. You should feel as if your head is stretching to the sky.
Along with the above, you can also check for problems. Place your head against a wall and move your feet 6 inches out from the baseboard. Your bottom should be touching the wall along with your lower back and neck being 2 inches from the wall.
There are some simple activities you can do to relieve joint pain and help keep your joints healthy. Be sure to include exercises that helps with your range of motion and your body strengthening as they are key for healthy joints. Depending on the level of activity that suits you best, you can include walking, yoga, swimming, biking and more to your routine. Whichever activity you choose, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting. You should also keep the impact low, move gently and go at your own pace. Lastly, if you take a few minutes each day you can increase your flexibility and range of motion with a few different stretches.
Shoulder Rolls Roll your shoulders forward 10 times and then backwards 10 times with your arms close to your body and straight.
Hip Swings Using a sturdy chair, stand to the left and behind the chair. Keep your hands on the chair to support yourself and slightly bend your knees. Then swing your left leg forwards and backwards 10 times while you keep your back straight. Do the same on the right side of the chair 10 times.
Hip Rolls While lying flat with your legs apart and knees straight, roll your knees and feet toward each other and then roll them out. Repeat this 10 times.
Side Bends Stand with your knees bent slightly, tummy tucked in and your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Reach your left arm up over your head while leaning to the right, your right arm stretching down towards your right knee. Hold for a count of 10 letting your body lean into the stretch, there should not be any pain. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
Trunk Rotation Lie down with you knees bent and your back flat on the floor. Rock both of your legs to the right, moving slowing and towards the floor, hold for a count of 10. Return to the original position and do the same movement to the left, holding for a count of 10. Repeat each side 5 times, alternating sides.
Hamstring Stretch Sit at the edge of a bed or chair and straighten your left leg in front of you while you rest your left heel on the floor or a short stool. Be sure you are sitting up straight and then gently bend forward at the hips so that you feel a gentle stretch on the back of your leg. Breath normally, hold for 20 to 30 seconds and then sit up slowly. Repeat with your right leg.
Having a proper posture and staying active are all part of joint pain preventative care, regenerative therapy also offers preventative care for your joints. If you find that you are still experiencing joint pain, you may want to consider Stem Cell Therapy or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy. Letting your own body heal itself now versus surgery in the future.
In the Greater Seattle area, Seattle Regenerative Medicine Center offers COMPLIMENTARY consultations for those who are struggling with joint pain. You can discuss your options and see if a Regenerative Therapy, like PRP or Stem Cell Therapy would be right for you. Please contact SRMC at 1-425-454-0406 to book your free consultation for PRP or Stem Cell Therapy in Seattle.
By Dr. Lucy Hostetter