How to Prevent Joint Pain

Senior couple walking outside

If you’re over the age of 50 and wondering how to prevent joint pain, you aren’t alone. According to one University of Michigan poll, 70 percent of people over age 50 experience joint pain at least occasionally, and nearly 50 percent experience arthritis or joint pain that limits their ability to participate in their usual daily activities. Thankfully, there are strategies and tips you can follow to help ease joint pain so that you can stay limber, active, and enjoy your golden years comfortably.

Tips to Avoid Joint Pain

Why is joint pain in seniors so common? Many factors are involved. As we age, the amount of lubricating fluid in our joints tends to decrease, which can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. We also lose muscle mass as we age, increasing the pressure put on our joints and making us more susceptible to conditions like osteoarthritis, a kind of arthritis characterized by the deterioration and thinning of cartilage, the flexible, shock-absorbing tissue that protects your joints and bones. Inflammation, stiffness, and injuries can also contribute to joint pain. 

Despite this, seniors have plenty of options for how to prevent joint pain. 

Get Moving

The benefits of exercise for seniors cannot be overstated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all older adults can benefit from some kind of physical activity; they recommend seniors 65 and older try to get 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Consistent, low-impact exercise is essential for preventing joint pain and is often even prescribed for common senior conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis. Exercise can help improve bone density and keep muscles strong and flexible. A stronger musculoskeletal system takes pressure off your joints, reducing pain and stiffness and slowing cartilage degeneration. Stronger muscles also help improve coordination and balance, lowering your fall risk.

While the options below are suitable for many seniors, always remember to check in with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. 

Aquatic Exercise

Aquatic exercises are one of the best low-impact exercise options for seniors to stay active. The buoyancy of water takes the pressure off your joints, freeing you to participate in aquatic aerobics, aquatic strength training, aquatic yoga, and more. If you enjoy group workouts, water aerobics classes can be a great way to work out and socialize all at once. If you prefer to exercise alone or at your own pace, swimming laps is a great solo activity.

Stretching

Daily stretching and range-of-motion exercises help keep your muscles flexible and strong, improving your flexibility, balance, and stability. Activities like yoga, pilates, and tai chi can help you learn exercises and movements that gently stretch and strengthen different muscle groups, keeping pressure off your joints and helping your musculoskeletal system stay limber.

Eat a Joint-Friendly Diet

The food you eat can affect the degree of joint pain you experience. A diet with plenty of calcium is vital, as calcium can help lower your risk of osteoporosis. Milk is an excellent source of calcium, but it isn’t your only option. Other foods with lots of calcium include yogurt, broccoli, kale, spinach, figs, parsley, and salmon.

You should also try to incorporate foods with Omega-3s into your diet. Heart-healthy Omega-3s have many health benefits and may reduce inflammation, which can be a contributing factor to joint pain. Fatty fish like trout, salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies are among the best sources of Omega-3s, but they aren’t the only options. Many nuts and legumes (like chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, and soybeans) are also high in Omega-3s. 

_____

If you want to live in a community where all aspects of senior health are a priority, the Beach House Assisted Living & Memory Care could be the ideal place. The Beach House is located near a golf course, shopping, various community services, and several beaches, so residents can easily engage in physical activities. Plus, we offer a fitness room and a gym with on-site therapy services. Our friendly and compassionate staff members offer individualized care 24/7, ensuring all residents’ safety, security, and happiness. The Beach House provides assisted living and respite care. Most importantly, we tailor these services to suit each resident’s unique needs. To learn more about our amenities or schedule a tour, please get in touch with us online or call us at 904-615-8076. We look forward to hearing from you!