You probably strongly value your ability to move around, walk, jump, play sports, and participate in other activities without a lot of bone or joint pain. As you get older, it can get more painful to perform your normal activities unless you specifically take action to prevent problems from occurring. Here are some tips that you can follow in order to make sure that you maintain and improve your overall orthopedic health and maintain your ability to move without pain as long as possible.
1. Stay Active
A lot of joint pain comes from the fact that "if you don't use it, you lose it," meaning that if you're not moving around regularly, you are going to lose the fluidity and lubrication that your joints need to continue moving smoothly, without pain. Luckily, once you start using your joints regularly again for walking around or light exercise, that fluidity and lubrication will return. It might take a little while, but you will eventually build up to once again being able to move around without too much pain. Staying active by going for walks, doing water aerobics, or using stretch bands can help you keep your joints in shape. Stretching regularly can also help your joints remain flexible.
2. Be Sure You're Getting Enough Calcium
Make sure that you are getting enough calcium. You can drink milk and eat cheese or, if you are lactose intolerant, you can eat leafy green vegetables that tend to be high in calcium. Kale and broccoli tend to be really good for people who cannot consume dairy without getting sick.
3. Watch for Strains
If you think that you might have accidentally pulled something while you were exercising, don't just go back to exercising. Take action. Elevate the leg to encourage the flow of blood away from the afflicted area. Ice the afflicted area to reduce swelling. Take a few days to rest that part of your body and focus on other exercises instead. Don't push through pain because you might end up bedridden for a few weeks, rather than a day or two. Taking a day or two off will be better for your joint health in the long term.
4. Get More Vitamin D
Finally, be sure that you are getting enough vitamin D. The easiest way to get vitamin D is by being safely in the sun, meaning that you are protecting your skin from burning with sunscreen. You can also increase the amount of egg yolks you are eating to get more vitamin D.
For more information, talk to someone that specializes in medical orthopedics if you notice any changes.