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Achieving orthopaedic health in 2022

Achieving orthopaedic health in 2022

Year after year, the most common new year’s resolutions involve improving overall health and exercising more. Both are worthwhile aspirations, but for some people, arthritis or other orthopaedic issues can make them a bit challenging… but not impossible.

By refining your resolution to focus on your orthopaedic health, you may find you can accomplish all three goals with one short list.

Exercise smarter
Maintaining an exercise routine can be especially difficult with arthritis or orthopaedic challenges, especially for those facing issues with the hips, knees, and ankles. Walking, biking, and swimming are all excellent alternatives to higher-impact activities. Minor weight training can also keep bones and joints strong—both now and in years to come. Whichever activity you choose, make sure it’s something you can enjoy. To keep yourself motivated, enlist a workout buddy or listen to podcasts as you work out.
Improve your diet
What you eat also impacts your bone health, in particular calcium and vitamin D. These two work together, with the calcium going directly to strengthen your teeth and bones, while vitamin D regulates and directs the calcium where it’s needed most.
You can increase your calcium intake with foods such as dark-green leafy vegetables, beans, milk, yogurt, and cheese. Add a healthy dose of vitamin D with fatty fish (such as salmon) and seafood, mushrooms, egg yolks, and good old-fashioned sunlight. Talk to your physician about possibly adding dietary supplements too.
Drink more water
Staying well-hydrated supports every function of the body in performing daily activities more efficiently, including lubricating segments of your vertebrae and other joints. Water also improves the function of your heart and circulatory system, and, as a bonus, it helps reduce hunger too.

Get a good night’s sleep
Did you know that sleeping less than seven hours a night puts you at risk for osteoporosis? Studies also show that up to 66 percent of people who have chronic back pain also suffer from sleep disorders. Getting a good night’s sleep gives our bone tissue time to regenerate and repair any damage caused by daily wear and tear. So, cut the blue lights off early and be sure to allow ample time for those full-body nourishing seven hours of shut eye.
Be good to your feet
Trade in high heels, loafers, or flip flops – plus any other footwear that can take a toll on your back, hips, knees, and ankles – and grab a pair of comfortable athletic shoes instead. This is a great step to improve your orthopaedic health dramatically, and today’s more casual work style makes it very doable.
For those times when casual shoes aren’t an option, consider adding an insole to your favorite work shoes or find a more supportive, but still stylish, alternative. (Your orthopaedic doctor is happy to make helpful recommendations!)
Improve your posture
Most of us have been sitting the same way for decades and don’t think a thing about it. Whether it’s your standard office chair, your makeshift work-from-home chair, or the living room sofa, your posture could be causing neck, back, shoulder, and even hip pain. By starting this year, or even today, you can take your first step toward correcting a bad habit by adjusting your desk height, paying attention to how much and what you carry (think purses and backpacks!), and even being mindful of how you walk or run. Little changes go a long way in how our body feels and functions.

Of course, one other way to impact your orthopaedic health in 2022 is to connect with your orthopaedist for a regular checkup. You can share any concerns as well as fitness goals, so you can put together a plan for your ongoing wellbeing. Since 1972, the specialists at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine have been committed to providing exceptional orthopaedic care through innovative techniques, quality services, patient communication, and education. With specialties ranging from general orthopaedics and physical therapy to sports medicine, joint replacement and more, the doctors at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can provide local expert care for any orthopaedic disorder or injury and help you achieve your orthopaedic health goals for 2022.

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