Pain, stiffness, discomfort, swelling, and redness in the areas where 2 bones meet are common signs of joint damage. Osteoarthritis, the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, is a common disease often caused by age, overuse, wear and tear, strenuous activity, and accidents. Contact a doctor if the pain is severe or lasts more than 3 days. In the meantime, here’s how to jumpstart your joint health:
- Move more. Those with joint aches may feel exercising will only make symptoms worse, but many experts assert that staying active can help by peeling off the excess pounds pressuring your joints and strengthening the surrounding muscles and bones.
- Move safely. When lifting weights, don’t pick up more than you can handle and avoid locking your joints. Also, cushioned shoes can absorb shock to your ankles and knees when running and walking. Activities like swimming and using elliptical machines create less strain.
- Oil up. Lubricate your joints with the omega–3 fatty acids found in fish oil, believed to reduce stiffness and inflammation. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements may improve cartilage fluid and limit joint decline.