Looking after your joints as you enter senior living

As you age, your chances of certain ailments increase. One such condition is arthritis, which is an umbrella term that covers problems with your joints in your musculoskeletal system.

While it can also affect a small proportion of children and young adults, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that 52.1 per cent of people aged 75 years and over suffer from arthritis, compared to less than 1 per cent of arthritic Australians under 25.

Arthritis is inflammation, stiffness and tenderness of the joints and muscles surrounding the joints, which is why, as a senior in retirement living, keeping active is such an important part of your daily routine.

You've already read about some exercises you can do to reduce and relieve the symptoms of this condition. However, it is also important to look after your joints, to ensure that they are in the best possible health.

What are your joints?

Put simply, your joints are the connective structure between two bones. WebMD explains that joints are composed of smooth tissue called cartilage. This is flexible but firm, and can also be found in your nose and ears, hence why they feel different to different parts of your body. Also included in the make up of your joints is another soft tissue called synovium and synovial fluid, a lubricant, to ensure that there is a cushion between your bones so that they do not grate together during any movements.

When the cartilage wears down, either through age or an injury, the joints are damaged, reducing mobility and causing pain. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can care for your joints, to reduce your chances of arthritis.

Learn how to keep your joints in good health before your chances of arthritis increase.Learn how to keep your joints in good health before your chances of arthritis increase.

How can I look after my joints?

Joint protection techniques, as so named by Arthritis Research UK, can include changing up your behaviour and technique when it comes to repetitive movements. If any activity you're engaged in causes any pain, try and find a different technique that has less strain on your body and joints.

Practise this new way of doing an activity, such as dancing, until it becomes automatic. This may require replacing trained habits, but with dedication, it'll pay off for better joint health during your retirement living.

Of course, keeping active is the best possible way to maintain your bone and tissue health. Working on the muscle strength surrounding your joints will mean tasks are easier, with less burden on those aching or tired joints.

WebMD suggests reducing your sedentary hours. Walk around when on the phone, take regular breaks, and of course, know your limits to avoid injury.

It's all a part of keeping active and healthy, so get a retirement buddy to join you in some joint-mobility exercises today.