Joint and Bone Health
By Ehren Allen, Certified Manual Therapist/Physical Therapist
Joint and Bone Health
Ouch! If you suffer from joint discomfort in your knees, ankles, wrists or other parts of your body, you are not alone. Joint pain is caused when the cartilage within a joint begins to break down and the underlying bone begins to change. The staff at Jacksonville Orthopeadic Institute is dedicated to your joint and bone health. JOI knows joint and bone pain can be debilitating and is caused by a wide variety of factors. The onset of joint and bone pain ranges from:
- Sports Injury
- Repetitive use of a Joint
- Hereditary Factors
- Degenerative Diseases like Arthritis
With joint pain effecting one in four adults, patients often ask what they can do to expedite healing and reduce pain. Physical therapy, home remedies and healthy diets can help alleviate joint and bone pain.
At Home Remedies to Assist in Joint and Bone Health:
- Hot/ Cold Therapy
- Over the counter medications like Tylenol or Ibuprofen
Food for Thought
While care from your JOI medical professional and at home remedies assist in bone and joint health – Have you ever given your food a thought? Just as we seek out specialists to assist in healing and recovery, seeking out certain foods can be beneficial to the healing process. Studies show certain foods protect against joint and bone health, while others can worsen it. Packed with micronutrients, food is purposeful in nurturing our bodies. In addition to seeing your JOI physical therapist, what you eat can act as a supplement to your healing and recovery. But, eating well and understanding the nuances of food has become a complicated and often confusing experience. JOI has identified some foods that promote joint and bone health.
What Can I Eat to Strengthen My Joints?
Consuming foods rich in antioxidants, boron, omega-3, magnesium, fatty acids, and calcium have anti-inflammatory components. These foods provide nutrients that reduce joint stiffness, while supporting mobility and flexibility. Additionally, such foods can help reduce the rate of cartilage breakdown and even promote cartilage repair.
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables – Contains antioxidants, calcium and magnesium
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – In addition to heart health oils, contains properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs
- Whole Grains – Maximize nutrition while minimizing inflation
- Citrus Fruits – Loaded with bioflavonoids and anti-inflammatory components
- Oily Fish – Rich in anti-inflammatory omega3 fatty acids
- Avocado – Consists of antioxidant monosaturated oils, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E
- Berries – Good source of antioxidants that decrease inflammation
- Nuts – Packed with healthy fats and antioxidants
What Can I Eat to Strengthen My Bones?
Your JOI physical therapist will work with you to help rebuild strong healthy bones through weight bearing, range of motion and therapeutic exercises. Avoiding habits like smoking can help to reduce a weak skeleton and support bone strength before, during, or after an injury or surgery. A good diet will also support bone strength and a quicker recovery.
When it comes to building strong bones, two key nutrients come to mind: calcium and vitamin D. Studies show low levels of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium are linked to fragile bones. Bone density dictates the likelihood of fractures and broken bones. Getting enough bone-supporting nutrients in your diet is perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep them strong and healthy. But what should I eat?
- Leafy Greens – Contains magnesium, calcium, and vitamin K – which reduces calcium loss in urine
- Sweet Potatoes – Offers high levels of magnesium and potassium
- Almond Butter – No cholesterol, low in fat, higher in protein than PB, and great calcium source
- Nuts – Rich in nutrients that decreases bone break down
- Milk – Excellent source of Vitamin D – delaying the loss of bone mass
- Eggs – Bone healthy vitamin D is found in the yolks only
- Figs – Surprisingly loaded with calcium, magnesium, and potassium
- Molasses – Great alternative to a sweetener and an excellent source of magnesium and potassium
In addition to seeing your JOI doctor and physical therapist, consider incorporating these joint and bone friendly foods into your diet. The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute will provide the highest level of care to help you return to your normal, active lifestyle. To learn how JOI can help with your joint and bone pain, call JOI-2000.