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Use it or Lose it! Keeping Your Joints Healthy

Today, over 20 million Americans suffer from arthritis. The most common form of this joint disease is called Osteoarthritis, and it occurs when bone to bone surfaces become irregular.  This condition causes pain and discomfort in your joints – usually including the hands, knees, hips, and spine. Many people don’t realize they have Osteoarthritis and do nothing to treat their chronic pain. However, the key to joint health is not to do nothing, but to stay moving!

Exercise is absolutely crucial when it comes to maintaining joint health. According to Dr. Elinor Mody, MD, “the worst thing someone with Osteoarthritis can do is nothing.” Think of your joints as hinges. Hinges, such as those within a squeaky door, may become rough or rusted over time. The same process can be applied to your joints. Keeping your joints moving prevents this “rusting” and will increase your range of motion.  

Another reason why exercise is so important is that it builds muscle. Strengthening muscles around the joints can reduce strain and help prevent the wear and tear effect. However, it is important to build overall strength, and not just in areas surrounding specific joints. Even strengthening your core muscles has been shown to lessen the strain on your knees and prevent injury, according to Dr. Mody.

So ask yourself, has your pain restricted your daily activities? Are you frequently using medicinal drugs in order to do the things you want to do? Has your range of motion decreased? If the answers to these questions are yes, it may be time to consult your health care practitioner. Letting your symptoms continue on without treatment can have irreversible effects on your joints. When left untreated long enough, Osteoarthritis can cause muscle atrophy and joint contracture. This means you may never get back what you’ve lost, and joint replacement therapy could be in your future.

Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to prevent the wearing of your joints and reduce the pain of Osteoarthritis.

-Maintaining a healthy weight is key.  Weight loss and maintenance can help reduce tears in cartilage and slow the progression of osteoarthritis over time. 

-Exercise, as I discussed previously, helps reduce stiffness and the rusting of your joints. Exercises can be variable and include strength training, light impact aerobics, frequent stretching, and other relaxation exercises such as yoga.

-Icing your joints also helps reduce pain and inflammation, which can cause small cracks within the cartilage. Studies have shown that consuming Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, as well as Vitamin D, can help decrease this inflammation as well and protect your joints.

-Orthotics are also very beneficial in the treatment of Osteoarthritis. These custom made shoe inserts act as shock absorbers when walking, therefore protecting your knees and hips.

Chiropractic care is also excellent for joint health. A trained Chiropractor focuses on the musculoskeletal system and uses gentle and safe methods to align subluxated joints. This type of care alleviates pain, increases the range of motion, improves coordination/circulation, and relaxes tense muscles. A Chiropractor will also recommend the best therapy and exercise plans to fit your needs and, most importantly, keep you moving!

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Testimonials

What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "My initial reason for seeking chiropractic care was because I was having some back, neck, and shoulder problems. I had seen other chiropractors and achieved no results. This was not the case at The Body Connection. The experience here is very educational in learning how the body works. I am now able to function in a lot less pain. As a result, I am now more active and look at life with more understanding on how to stay healthy."
    Maria H.
  • "I first encountered The Body Connection through Groupon when I came in for a massage. I had a conversation with Dr. Logan and as a result of being treated here, I am now able to do intense workouts, boot camp, and boxing. I have also experienced increased weight loss and now have better posture. Dr. Logan and her staff have been very supportive."
    Lora K.
  • "I have been treated by other chiropractors in the past and over the years coming to The Body Connection has been a wonderful experience. I initially came in for lower back and hip pain. As of now, my flexibility has improved and my pain has diminished. I can now walk and stand for longer periods of time. Also doing daily house work isn’t as painful. I feel better after being treated by the doctor. My energy level is increased and it also improves my state of mind."
    Laura C.
  • "After the awesome massage I enjoyed, I decided to have a consultation with Dr. Logan who encouraged me and stated she could help me. I can now hold my head up better and my chronic headache syndrome has subsided. My experience at The Body Connection has been marvelous. To say it plainly; I just feel better!"
    Maura M.
  • "Prior to meeting the staff of The Body Connection Health and Wellness Center at a Ladies Day Expo, I had no knowledge of chiropractic care. Dr. Logan educated me on how the different issues I was experiencing were connected. As a result of getting treated at this facility, my body feels better. I am now able to sit and ride in a car without feeling the lower back pain and spasms of the past."
    Judith H.