As we’ve already learned, there are many different kinds of ways we can cause injury to our joints. Here are eight more of them.
- You aren’t stretching. You don’t have to be enlisted in a yoga or Pilates class; however, there are many benefits to stretching. You will become more flexible while also strengthening your muscles and tendons; this helps you move your joints easily while also helping the muscles surrounding them work better.
- You don’t strength train. Once we become 40 years old, our bones become a little thinner than when we were younger and are more likely to break. Strength training helps us build muscles while slowing bone loss and promoting new growth. With stronger muscles and denser bones, our joints will be stabilized. This decreases our chances of becoming injured.
- You use tobacco products. Nicotine decreases the amount of blood flow to the bones and to the discs in the back. It also limits the amount of calcium the body can take in, breaks down estrogen (needed for bone health), and slows new growth. With all of this, the joints will become weaker, making the hips more likely to break.
- You aren’t sleeping enough. If you have arthritis, you will experience more pain after a night of little to no sleep. When we don’t get enough sleep, inflammation is triggered in the body, eventually leading to joint problems.
- You exhibit poor posture. Try not to slouch or slump over when seated, as this places more stress on the muscles and joints, making them become tired. Try to maintain correct posture with your back straight and shoulders back and down.
- You try to “tough it out.” If you experience pain while working out, don’t try to play tough guy and continue through it. While muscle soreness can be normal after a workout, something is wrong if it’s lasting for days or if your muscles are swollen or too sore to move or touch. It’s not normal for joints to experience pain – so if yours are, ease up on the workouts. If the pain doesn’t subside, talk to your doctor immediately.
- You’re on the computer too much. Sitting at a computer for extended periods of time can cause pain in the neck, elbows, wrists, back, and shoulders. This is most likely due to poor posture and staying seated in this manner for far too long, causing your muscles to become overworked and the discs in your back to be placed under pressure. If seated in a soft chair, prop your arms up with cushions to help ease the load on your shoulders and neck. Remember to get up and move every hour.
- You exhibit poor form. While running, riding your bike, or playing tennis, it’s normal to use the same motions over and over. If your form is bad, however, your body will experience stress in the wrong areas. If your muscles become overloaded, more pressure will be placed on your joints, resulting in an injury such as tennis elbow.