Joint Health and Activity

Joint health and activity go hand-in-hand. Joints are of the upmost importance, because they are the location where the bones intersect, make contact, and allow movement and systematic support, anatomically and utility.  Joints allow liberty with mobility, and there are three distinct categories of joints:

* Fibrous (stationary/immoveable): This certain joint is held together by merely a ligament.  Example: where teeth are held joint health and activityto their boney sockets.

* Cartilaginous (marginally moveable): This joint transpires where the connection between the conveying bones is made of cartilage.  Example: between the vertebrae in the spine.

* Synovial (unrestricted movement):  This is the most customary grouping of the joint within the human body.  A collagenous structure surrounds the joint which secretes a lubricating liquid which pads the conveying bones.

Running, walking, sitting, jogging, bending, reaching, this is just a few of the activities that are made possible for the body via our joints.  Nonetheless, like all things, joints endure wear and tear through the years with every movement.  Joints allow the body freedom to move for both necessity and pleasure, but, like all things in life, joints must be maintained in order to facilitate their function.  As the body ages, the depreciation of the joints surface and cause pain and inflammatory symptoms.  The best way to keep the joints fit and healthy: remaining active.

As the body ages, it’s natural for fatigue to set in and it just isn’t as simple to exercise as it was in youthful years.  Astonishingly, 88% of the elderly in the U.S.A experience chronic pain from exhausted joints.  As the body ages, muscles and joints become unyielding and calcification (the accumulation of calcium salts in the body) develops, causing the joints to mobilize inefficiently.  Responsiveness declines and limits movement, while the skin increases in fragility.

It is prominent that seniors oblige to activity, despite their pain.  The body will communicate with its owner and proclaim when it has had enough activity for the day.  Taking small steps with unpretentious exercises and body movements can nourish tired joints and decrease pain.

Joint Activities for the Elderly

Chin-to-Chest: This exercise works well for the many elderly that suffer from a very common form of Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, especially in the neck area. This occurs when the cartilage padding diminishes around the joints, basically bone rubbing against bone.  To effectively do this activity, help your patient to sit in a chair with a straight back, with both shoulders relaxed. The patient should then look forward and lift the chin until it is equivalent to the ground.  The chin should then be lowered to the chest until a slight stretch is felt in the back of the neck.  This should be repeated.  The Arthritis Foundation acclaims that two sets that include three to ten repetitions of each stretch is safe and sufficient.

Hand and Fingers:  Arthritis causes difficulty while lifting objects, opening jars, driving a car, etc. The elderly that choose to initiate finger and hand exercises may greatly improve their range of motion and condense related encounters.  To begin this exercise, have the patient their right hand directly in front of them while making a fist with their fingers.  This tightens the muscles in the hand and around the fingers.  The fist should then be released, relaxed for a few seconds, and

then the exercise should be repeated.  The same exercise should be repeated with the left hand.  This exercise strengthens the hand and finger muscles, which allow for smoother mobility.

Elbow Bend and Turn: This particular exercise improves the range of motion of the elbow, wrist, and forearm.  The flexibility produced by this exercise eases tasks such as: driving a vehicle, carrying objects, and bathing/showering.  Have the patient sit in a chair with a straight back.  Both arms should dangle loosely at the side, with each palm facing forward.  Gradually, the elbow should bend which will lift the hand to the shoulders.  The palm of each hand should be facing the body when this is done.  The fingers should then touch the shoulder, and once this is completed, the palms should turn to the starting position.  This exercise should be repeated as many times as the patient desires.

Joint health is so important to the body’s daily function.  Remaining active with even the smallest of exercises helps the body’s joints to operate daily activities that can sometimes be taken for granted until the body realizes that it is having difficulty.  So, keep your joint health and activity, you can’t have one without the other.


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