Joint pain seems to be a natural part of aging, and you’re destined to get sore as you get older.
But for many, it is possible to slow the loss of joint cartilage as you get older, to help limit pain, and perhaps most importantly, avoid surgery.
You can do a few cheats to help your joints and limbs stay limber and loose.
Cartilage is the shock-absorbing, slippery tissue that caps the ends of your bones. It can degenerate over time for various reasons. Overuse, injury, obesity, naturally weak cartilage, or abnormally shaped bones, can all cause the cartilage to wear down.
When it gets too thin, it can lead to big pain. Bones begin to rub on each other when you move, and painful bone spurs can develop.
Another pain-causing joint condition is osteoarthritis, which can lead to painful and achy joints, stiffness, and limited movement. It typically shows up in a person’s 60s.
But there are ways to prevent or limit this pain.
Building strong muscles around joints can help protect them and relieve some of the pressure on joints. Just be sure not to overdo it. Certain types of exercise: like bodybuilding or long runs on pavement, may advance knee damage.
Instead, work with moderate weights, perform stretches, and walk or jog on softer surfaces and always make sure you’re wearing adequate footwear. Playing sports like tennis and pickleball, and others can help with strength as well.
You can also try and reach a healthy weight. Extra weight on the joints can be a big contributor to pain.
If you already experience joint pain, losing weight may help. You can also try to modify activities to reduce pain. For example, if you have sore knees, it may be best to bike instead of run for exercise.
Canes can also help offload some stress from your joints, particularly if you’ve got hip, knee, or ankle pain.
There are several non-surgical treatments for joint pain. Talk to your doctor about other options, and continue to do your best to protect your joints as you age.