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Keeping Joints on the Up and Up

By Stephen R. Farris

At some point in time we all have -- or will -- experience pain in our joints, whether it's in the knee, shoulder, ankle or spine. Each year, around 30 million people in the United States see a doctor or chiropractor with knee or shoulder pain. Another 150-200 million complain to their health provider about back pain.

These problems may occur from the jobs we do, or from physical activities we participate in from walking, running, lifting weights or playing basketball, baseball, softball, football, etc. At some point there will be some involvement associated with pain.

When pain hits we often wonder what to do next. Should you try to relieve the pain with medication, use ice or heat therapy, wait it out and hope it goes away, or get the problem area looked at by a health professional? More than likely, the latter is the better solution. Your local doctor or chiropractor can diagnose your condition and suggest the best route to take in getting back to your regular routine. But first, there are ways to help keep your joints in good working order to prevent injuries.

Say Hello to Pete and Repeat

I might be showing my age a little with that saying, but it holds some truth. We often go through the same routines on a daily basis and usually think nothing of it, that is, until we injure something. Yes, doing repetitive motions can -- and often will -- have an effect on your joints. Take basketball players for instance. Playing on those hardwood or concrete courts takes its toll on the knees and ankles. Sometime during a player's career they are going to experience an ankle sprain and worst case scenario, a torn ACL in the knee. It's mostly because they have been doing the same movement -- running and jumping -- each and every time they are out on the court. An injury is bound to happen!

Lifting Properly

It's not uncommon that many back injuries are due to improper lifting techniques. Make sure if your job or exercise activity requires lifting, that you are doing so properly, such as lifting with your legs and not your back, bending your knees and squarely facing the object you are working with. If you have questions concerning proper lifting techniques, you can find information on the web or consult with your chiropractor and/or doctor.

Believe It or Not, Eat Healthier

You might not realize it, but downing all those hot dogs and hamburgers might not be the best route for healthy eating and may have the potential to take its toll on the joints as well. A little extra poundage due to poor eating can cause stress on the joints, including your back, knees and shoulders, along with other parts of your body. Giving your body the necessary nutrients it needs is a win-win towards a healthier lifestyle.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sacramento, Calif.

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