I have finally succumbed to the fact that not only have I become a soccer mum, running my two sons to soccer practice, their games and now summer soccer, I have also taken on the responsibility of becoming the cricket taxi driver with the added involvement of watching a few hours of cricket every Saturday morning! And as I diligently watch 9 year olds bowling with so much ferocity, their little shoulder joints are almost yanked out of their sockets, I am reminded of just how important joint health is.
Joints are designed to allow for the movement of our skeletal system. Therefore it makes sense that movement is key in maintaining the health of a joint.
Our bones are connected by ligaments which hold the bones together and provide stability, and are cushioned by cartilage, which helps reduce friction and absorb shock. The joints also contain synovial fluid which lubricates the joint and helps with movement.
Movement is important for maintaining healthy joints for several reasons:
- Improves joint mobility – Regular physical activity can help improve joint mobility, flexibility, and range of motion.
- Strengthens surrounding muscles – Exercise can help strengthen the muscles that support your joints, reducing the risk of injury and improving stability.
- Reduces joint pain and inflammation – Exercise can help reduce joint pain and inflammation by increasing blood flow and reducing pressure on the joints.
- Prevents joint degeneration – Regular exercise can help delay the onset of degenerative joint conditions, such as osteoarthritis, by keeping the joints healthy and strong.
- Improves overall health – Exercise has numerous benefits for overall health, including improving cardiovascular health, boosting mood, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
It’s important to find an exercise routine that you enjoy and can stick to, and to avoid activities that cause pain or discomfort. Regular exercise, combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can help maintain joint health and improve overall quality of life. And remember, everyone’s joint health is different and may be affected by a variety of factors, including age, genetics, and overall health.
Consulting a doctor or the local osteopath can help determine the best course of action for maintaining joint health, allowing us to continue enjoying the pain free, active lifestyle we all deserve.