About 21 million adults have osteoarthritis, the wear-and-tear condition that causes achy, painful joints. Joint pain can affect anyone, but in men, it usually starts before age 45, affecting the wrists, hips and spine.
Factors that contribute to join pain
- Aging. Cartilage thins as you age, which makes it easier to damage.
- Previous injuries. Minor joint pain when you were younger can bother you when you’re older.
- Inflammation. Inflammation (swelling) releases chemicals destructive to cartilage.
- Loss of muscle mass. If you don't work to maintain your muscle mass and tone, your joints–instead of your muscles–will absorb the pounding from daily life, which causes damage.
- Excess weight. The more weight a joint has to carry, the more damage it experiences, especially your knees.
Have to maintain healthy joints
- Maintain a healthy weight. This is the best thing you can do to preserve your joints. Losing just 11 pounds can reduce arthritis pain by 50%.
- Vary your exercise. Working out helps reduce joint stiffness. Weight training helps strengthen the muscles and ligaments surrounding joints, protecting them from damage.
- Add ice. Icing your joints after exercise can help lessen pain and prevent swelling. Ice the joints you use during exercise for 10 minutes after your workout.
- Eat beneficial foods. Fish oil not only reduces symptoms of joint pain but also the inflammation that may be causing some of the pain. The best sources of fish oil are in salmon and tuna.
- Take vitamin D. Research shows that taking vitamin D daily may help protect your joints because it has an anti-inflammatory effect.
The Center for Joint Replacement at Hurley Medical Center
Certified as a Blue Cross Center of Distinction for Knee and Hip Replacement, The Center for Joint Replacement at Hurley Medical Center is one of the Top 10 joint replacement centers in the United States and consistently ranks above 90% in Patient Satisfaction every year. As the region’s experts in joint replacement surgery, we offer a complete joint replacement experience. From pre-surgery testing, mobility assessment and exercises to a personalized physical therapy program after your surgery, we provide support and resources every step of the way.
Hurley Health and Fitness Center (HHFC)
The area’s only medically-based health and fitness facility, Hurley Health and Fitness Center offers advanced exercise technology, an experienced team of fitness professionals, and most importantly, access to specialists from Hurley’s full range of medical practices, including cardiology, orthopedics, and rehabilitation sciences. To help you get fit and lose weight, over 60 group exercise classes a week are available, as well as one-on-one sessions with a personal trainer. The Olympic-size pool is also an excellent way to tone and strengthen your body as well as lose weight.
To specifically help you keep your joints healthy, HHFC offers Water Exercise for Arthritis (certified through the Arthritis Foundation), SportsCare (physical therapy) and pre- and post-joint replacement exercises and rehabilitation.
For more information, call (810) 262-2200 or visit the Hurley Health and Fitness Center website.