Why the focus, specifically on bones and joints? Well, October 12th-20th is Bone and Joint Action Week! According to the US Bone and Joint Initiative, more than half of the population who are at least 18 years old have musculoskeletal conditions. So you can see why it’s important to talk about how we can take care of our bones and joints!
What are common musculoskeletal conditions?
Anything that affects our bones, joints, nerves, and soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons) are musculoskeletal issues. These include: arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, traumatic injury, spinal deformity, as well as childhood conditions.
How can you take care of your bones and joints?
Start now! The older you get, the more likely it is for your bones and joints to begin get weaker. When bones have low density, they are more at risk of breaking or fracturing. Cartilage can also wear down, causing problems with the joints, and ligaments and tendons can stretch or collapse, changing the shape and function of the affected body parts (e.g. adult-acquired flat foot).
Taking care of your bones and joints essentially comes down to two important factors:
- Taking part in regular physical activity is important for maintaining a healthy body. Physical activity can help prevent or delay bone and joint issues, as well as promote healing and circulation.
- Strengthening, conditioning, aerobic, and flexibility exercises should all be incorporated to combat risk factors for bone and joint issues (i.e. obesity, stiff joint, poor posture).
- When participating in sports or other exercise, make sure to use protective equipment and appropriate shoes to reduce risk of injuries that can have long-lasting painful effects.
- Be sure to eat a healthy, wholesome diet. A variety of nutritious meals will benefit all parts of the body.
- Vitamin D, in particular, is important for bone and joint health. You need a good amount to absorb and replenish calcium to the bones.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids and anti-inflammatory foods are helpful for joint health. Eat plenty of sardines and salmon, soy products, extra virgin olive oil, ginger, and dark chocolate to reap the benefits.
Have more questions about bone and joint health, especially as it relates to the 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 soft tissues that make up each foot? Consult with our podiatrist at Texas Foot Works, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz. He will assess your feet and ankles for any musculoskeletal conditions. Make an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas), Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices!