Here at WAGs, we’re here to support your wrist fitness and overall wellness, and we know that with aging often comes the creaks of arthritis in your joints. The time between ages 45 and 63 is generally when arthritis begins showing up. Factors that play into osteoarthritis include excessive weight, muscle weakness, repetitive movements, joint injury, and family history.
“We don’t have anything to prevent the disease or the progression of this disease [arthritis] over time, but exercising and maintaining a healthy weight are the best chance[s] to reduce your risk factors,” says Dr. Najia Shakoor, a rheumatologist and researcher at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Watch for Excessive Weight and Weakness
Controlling your diet and exercising regularly will keep your weight down. In addition, exercise provides movement, which is key. Lifting weights or working with a personal trainer will help you get stronger if your muscles are weak, and muscle weakness can add more stress to the joints.
Avoid Repetitive Stress
Look out for repetitive stress. If you’re a constant texter, you’re setting yourself up for thumb arthritis. Continually looking down at your phone or laptop causes stress in the neck, which can predispose you to neck arthritis. Repetitive movements, such as running on pavement, exposes the knees and hips to degradation of cartilage. Be mindful of movements big and small and carefully avoid overuse — it adds stress to your joints, and with time, wears on the cartilage.
“Anybody over the age of 40 probably has some osteoarthritis, though it may not yet be causing symptoms,” says Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, a rheumatologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “Most of what we see is low back and neck pain. We see a lot of hip and knee pain as well. Hands, shoulders, and toes can also become arthritic.”
It’s important to keep your bones moving so the joints stay lubricated. Stretching in the morning from head to toe can help work off the morning stiffness.
Start by turning your head to look over your shoulder, then rotate your head in circles in one direction and then the other. Work your way down — shoulders, elbows, wrists, and fingers, moving the joints in circles, back and forth, or whatever feels good.
Next, move and stretch your spine, hips, knees, ankles, and toes. This should only take about 15 minutes to get the synovial fluid flowing. If you don’t have time to do your whole body, then just move the joints that hurt or are stiff.
Keep Fit on the Job
Also, if you have a job that requires sitting in front of the computer for long hours, you want to be sure and add stretch breaks to your day. No matter what you do everyday, it’s important to add in joint movement and stretching at least once a day to lubricate your joints. Whether its just stretches you do on your own, a yoga or Pilates class, or working out at the gym, when you’re moving, stretching, or exercising, you’re helping to keep your joints healthy and reduce arthritis.
If you already have trouble with joint pain, WAGs wrist support gloves can be the answer. The ergonomic design of each pair is made to help you bear weight and perform resistant exercises without putting too much tension on your wrist and the small bones, muscles, and ligaments that make up one of our most important body parts. Order your pair today to help you keep moving, and look for a blog post next month on four ways to soothe arthritis pain!