As we get older, our joints and ligaments can become stiffer and less flexible. And when ligament attachments are stretched, torn, or fragmented, our joints become hypermobile and painful. This is especially true of previously injured areas of our bodies. When the discomfort and aching get really painful, we might even stop doing the things we love because it causes so much physical distress.
Currently, many of the solutions to joint injuries are quite limited. Many include some sort of steroid shot, and most doctors’ best option is surgery, which takes its toll on the entire body.
One of the best ways to keep joints and ligaments healthy and stay pain-free is to use preventative measures to care for our joints. Whether you’re in pain currently or you’re looking for preventive measures to stay pain-free, here are the best ways to take care of your joints and ligaments without surgery.
Manage Your Weight
One of the best things you can do for your joints throughout your life is to maintain a healthy weight. Your joints bear the brunt of added weight — especially your hips, feet, back, and knees, which all together support the entirety of your body weight. Health practitioners often refer to research that has shown that with every pound you lose (above a healthy weight for your age and height), you relieve four pounds of joint stress.
One of the most effective ways to both help your joints and lose weight is to drink water instead of sugary drinks. Water makes up close to 80% of your body’s cartilage — the connective tissue that provides a cushion in between your joints — so staying hydrated works towards keeping you pain-free.
Engage in Low-Impact Exercise
One of the best ways to keep your joints pain-free is to keep them moving. A great way to keep things in motion is to exercise. Exercise can help you lose any extra weight you are carrying, and some research shows that getting your heart rate up with aerobic exercise can reduce joint swelling. But, be kind to your body, and look for low-impact exercises such as bicycling or swimming. Remember to always incorporate both a warm-up and a cool-down period for your muscles and joints.
One great way to help you have safe movement is through yoga, and at OWM, we use the Yoga Iyengar Wall Suspension System. This specific type of yoga uses adjustable straps to support different parts of the body, taking strain and pressure off unstable and/or overused joints.
Build and Maintain Core Muscles
Your core muscles include all the muscles in your back, abdomen, and buttocks (for posture support of your spine). When these muscles are strong, they help your balance and keep the weight and pressure off the joints. If core muscles are weak, the muscles surrounding a joint overcompensate to maintain stability. This can lead to muscle strain, tendon, and even ligament tears.
Weight training builds muscle so that it can be a shock absorber for your joints and help protect your ligaments from becoming over-stretched or torn ligaments. At OWM Integrative Wellness, we incorporate physical training and other integrated therapies to extend your body’s natural restorative abilities for your body’s best physical functioning.
Ligament and Tendon Regenerative Therapy
One of the most innovative ways to heal or strengthen injured joints and ligaments is called Prolotherapy. This is a sports medicine technique that stimulates the body’s natural healing processes to strengthen joints, ligaments, and tendons of the spine and limbs weakened by trauma or over-use injury.
Traditional surgical approaches often fail to stabilize the joint’s surrounding structure and relieve your pain permanently, but prolotherapy creates a healing inflammatory reaction that stimulates injured tissue cellular repair mechanisms.
It activates the body’s production of stem cells and growth factors that are shuttled to the site of injury. Prolotherapy, with its unique ability to directly address the cause of the instability, can repair the weakened sites and produce new healthy tissues, resulting in the permanent stabilization of the joint.
Advanced Regenerative Treatments
PRP, Stem Cell, and Exosome Regenerative Therapies are blazing the way for non-surgical methods to keep your joints and ligaments healthy — they are even more powerful for the treatment of injured joints. Mesenchymal stem cells are potent repair cells that are gently extracted from either your bone marrow or your abdominal fat.
They are injected into injured joints as well as their surrounding supporting ligaments and tendons. This creates repair by forming new tissue. Exosomes may be a better option than PRP and stem cells extracted from the person in cases of chronic inflammation where the body’s stem cells are not potent enough to repair the injured cells. Exosomes are extremely anti-inflammatory, and in cases of injury or arthritis, they are injected directly into the injured area.
OWM Integrative Wellness
At OWM, we have comprehensive, non-invasive treatments designed to help you get back to optimal functioning by helping your body heal itself through the restoration of its vital functions and processes. We offer everything from nutritional counseling and physical training to Stem Cell and Exosome Regenerative Therapies. To learn more about our integrated approach, click here or call to speak with one of our concierge staff professionals at (716) 626-6301.