10 Tips for Protecting Joints

Published Online: Tuesday, October 1, 2002

The Arthritis Foundation has recommended the following tips to protect joints from osteoarthritis:

1. Maintain your ideal body weight.
2. Exercise. Strong muscles keep joints from rubbing against one another, wearing down cartilage.
3. Have good posture. Good posture protects the joints in the neck, back, hips, and knees.
4. Use the big joints. When lifting or carrying, use the largest and strongest joints and muscles.
5. Pace yourself. Alternate periods of heavy activity with periods of rest. Repetitive stress on joints for long periods of time can accelerate the wear and tear that causes osteoarthritis.
6. Listen to your body. Pain after activity or exercise can indicate that a joint has been overstressed.
7. Do not be static. Changing positions regularly will decrease the stiffness in your muscles and joints.
8. Forget about being a ?weekend warrior.? Do not engage in activities for which your body is not prepared. Start new activities slowly and safely until you know how your body will react to them.
9. Wear proper safety equipment. Make sure you get safety gear that is comfortable and fits appropriately.
10. Ask for help. Do not try to do a job that is too big for you to handle.

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