A Runner’s Guide to Maintaining Healthy Joints

Healthy JointsCreaky joints, stiffness, tenderness and inflammation – they’re all tell-tale signs of well-worn joints. Running is a high impact activity that can take its toll on otherwise healthy joints, in particular the knees and hips.

But there’s no need for despair – there’s plenty you can do to maintain healthy joints to keep you active for years to come.

 

EXERCISE:

While running may form the bulk of your training schedule, other forms of exercise can protect your joints and minimize potential damage, adding longevity to your running future. Developing muscle strength and flexibility are essential to keeping knees and hips stabilized while running. Yoga and similar low-impact exercises are ideal. Being overweight can also add stress to your joints, so losing any excess weight will literally help take a load off and make it easier to maintain mobile, healthy joints.

 

PHYSICAL THERAPY:

Physical therapy is an important tool for joint health, especially for those suffering from arthritis or who’ve had to undergo surgery. It rebuilds muscle strength and flexibility. Your orthopedic professional can work with you to develop a physical therapy plan best suited for your needs.

 

SHOES:

Proper footwear designed especially for running can help make or break a joint.  Be sure to wear shoes which fit properly and provide support where needed. Your specialist will be able to advise you on what to look out for when purchasing the correct footwear.

 

NUTRITION:

A balanced diet will help you maintain a healthy weight and therefore prevent unnecessary added stress on your joints. Try to include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet such as:

-berries

-soy products

-green tea

-extra olive virgin oil

-tumeric

-omega 3 rich foods such as oily fish

 

ICE: 

Ice is one of the simplest remedies for swollen or inflamed joints. Wrap an ice pack  – or a packet of frozen peas – in a tea towel or cloth and place over the affected joint to help relieve any pain after your run and reduce joint swelling.

Your orthopedic professional can assist you with the best plan of action to maintain healthy joints and keep you running, pain-free, for longer.

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