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How to strengthen joints for better health

How to strengthen joints for better health

Want to learn how to strengthen your joints? Strong joints help reduce pain and improve overall health. A joint is where bones come together. Joints can be rigid or movable. The cartilage inside most joints helps make movement smoother.

There are over 100 types of arthritis- and joint-related conditions, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. East Jefferson General Hospital treats all joint injuries with high-quality imaging and orthopedic care. It’s never too late to make joint health a priority. No matter your age, chronic health condition or health goals, there are diet and exercise routines to improve your joint strength.

How to strengthen joints through exercise

If you’re learning how to strengthen joints, start with physical activity. Arthritis and other joint conditions can’t be prevented. Yet regular exercise has been shown to slow arthritis progression, reduce pain and improve your mobility.

Exercise helps strengthen joints, bones and build muscle mass. It also helps you maintain good balance. Better balance means fewer falls.

If you have arthritis or another joint condition, staying active is still safe. In fact, it can prevent the condition from getting worse.

The Arthritis Foundation recommends 150 minutes of moderate impact exercises every week. This is about 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Here’s how to strengthen joints through exercise:

  • Find a low-impact exercise routine. To reduce the stress on your joints, find a low-impact exercise such as swimming, water aerobics, bicycling, gardening or walking.
  • Get recommendations. Not sure where to start? Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to find an exercise that’s right for you.
  • Remember range of motion exercises. Full range of motion refers to how much movement each joint should have. Range of motion exercises can help you stay more mobile. Perform range of motion exercises one to two times a day. Start with toe curls, arm circles or leg raises.
  • Use strength training to protect your joints. Maintaining muscle strength helps prevent worsening arthritis. Strengthen your muscles to improve mobility and manage arthritis symptoms. Start with squats, wall push-ups or light weightlifting. To prevent joint injury, talk to your doctor for guidance around building stronger muscles.

A healthy diet means stronger joints

Proper diet helps maintain a healthy weight. Reducing the strain on the weight-bearing bones and joints of the musculoskeletal system helps prevent pain and makes it easier to move around.

Anti-inflammatory foods can also reduce the symptoms of joint conditions. Here are some recommendations for how to strengthen joints through a healthy diet:

  • Eat leafy greens. Romaine and bibb lettuce, spinach, kale and even broccoli have been found to slow both cartilage and bone loss. Each of these greens is high in calcium. Strong bones help make stronger joints.
  • Fresh fruit, vegetables and lean protein are the cornerstones of all healthy diets. Fill your plate with fresh or frozen produce and lean proteins such as skinless chicken or fish.
  • Nuts and seeds are filled with anti-inflammatory vitamins. Try 1.5 ounces a day of unsalted walnuts, pistachios or almonds.

Get orthopedic support

Practicing healthy habits and still experiencing joint pain? Our orthopedists can help you learn how to strengthen joints through lifestyle and medical interventions.

Get support on your journey to stronger joints. Find an orthopedic specialist near you.