When it comes to joint health, the age-old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” really is true. And while it’s best to begin using prevention techniques as early in life as possible, it’s never too late to start protecting your joints. Board certified Orthopedic Surgeon Ganesh Ramachandran, DO, MPH, shares some helpful tips:
- Check with your doctor to make sure you’re physically and medically able before beginning any new activities.
- Never skip the warm-up. “Proper stretching before any kind of physical activity is essential because it loosens the joints and soft tissues to prepare them for the stress of the activity you’re about to engage in, which in turn decreases the chance of injury,” explained Dr. Ramachandran.
- Avoid high-repetition activities. Repetition often leads to injuries such as tendonitis because it is too strenuous on the ligaments and tendons surrounding the joints.
- Maintain a healthy weight. “Keeping your weight down is a very important preventive measure,” said Dr. Ramachandran. “Excess pressure from being overweight contributes to joint pain and degeneration. Even losing as little as five percent of your body weight can make an amazing difference in joint health.”
- Choose joint-friendly, low-impact activities such as biking, walking or swimming, over high-impact activities such as running or jumping.
- Wear appropriate footwear with good traction and fit to reduce unnecessary twisting and other motions that can stress the knee joint. This also includes wearing shoes that aren’t worn out from overuse. “A good rule of thumb is that high-use shoes should be replaced every six months,” added Dr. Ramachandran.
Free Joint Pain Screening
Saturday, April 9, 7 am-Noon
Baptist Health Floyd will host a free joint pain screening of knees, hips and shoulders including X-rays and consultation with an orthopedic surgeon. You’ll also get an opportunity to meet the team of experts who will work with you every step of the way before and after your surgery. Space is limited and appointments are required. Screenings will take place at the Baptist Health Floyd Wound Healing Center. Call 1-800-4-SOURCE (1-800-476-8723) to register.