Surgical Rehab

Protect Your Joints

Patients ask me all the time, how do I protect my joints during the day?  There are some simple techniques that you can do to help protect your body.

  1. Respect pain:

    Pain lasting greater than two hours following an activity may indicate that you have “overdone it”.  Try to adjust the length and intensity of that activity in the future and monitor your pain.

  2. Be aware of your body position:

    Your body position during an activity and the body mechanics you use during an activity can have a significant effect on your joints. You should be aware of what is being demanded on your body during an activity.

  3. Control your weight:

    Anything that puts extra stress on your joints is something to be avoided.  Excess weight puts added stress on your joints causing damage to them.  On the other hand, poor nutrition can cause you to be underweight with undernourished bones and make you prone to fracture.

  4. Avoid holding one position for a long time:

    Too long in sitting, standing or holding items can be undue stress on your joints.   Try moving around every 30 minutes to take stress off your joints.

  5. Distribute pressure:

    Always spread the weight you are carrying over several joints if possible.  This will reduce the stress on one single joint.

  6. Simplify your task:

    Think ahead before your activities and try to plan on conserving energy when you can.  For example always take a cart at a grocery store rather than carrying a basket. The basket puts undue pressure on the finger, wrist and hand joints. Try to use a cart to move the groceries from the car to the house to prevent multiple trips to and from the car. Energy conservation is very important to protect your joints.

  7. Balance rest and activity:

    Activity is needed to maintain a healthy body. Balancing that with the needed rest is just as important. Plan rest periods into your body and respect the signs of fatigue your body gives you.

If you have more questions on how to protect you joints and want your own ergonomic assessment, give PRO Physical Therapy a call, we can help.