What breaks down joints? Our bodies are incredible machines, but they do tend to break down over time. To stay mobile and pain-free, it’s important to take care of our bodies, especially our joints. Unfortunately, there are a number of bad habits that can seriously exacerbate the damage done by the passage of time.
What Breaks Down Joints?
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Carrying Excess Weight
It isn’t a bad habit per se. Many people are happy with their fuller figures and the lifestyle they have chosen. However, it isn’t without some risk. For every extra pound we carry on our bodies, our knees take four extra pounds of pressure. That goes for people with excess muscle mass too. Either way, your joints are being asked to do extra work, and it can cause them to deteriorate much more quickly.
Wearing the Wrong Shoes
Heels and poorly made shoes can really put your joints through the ringer. In the case of heels, the shape of the shoe forces your weight forward, throwing off the way pressure is distributed throughout your weight-bearing joints. Poorly made shoes or shoes with worn-out soles have a slightly different but no less damaging effect. They fail to provide adequate support for your arch and ankle. This can lead to long-term damage with the potential to negatively affect your knees, hips, and even your spine.
Carrying a Heavy Bag
Regardless of the style, a heavy bag can seriously drag your down. It is ultimately better to have the weight distributed more evenly over the shoulders, say with a backpack rather than a shoulder bag, but it still does damage over time. Your shoulders, spine, and all the weight-bearing joints in your legs are going to feel the difference and try to compensate for it, resulting in accelerated degeneration.
Sleeping on Your Stomach
It’s a very popular sleeping position, but it is also likely to make your neurosurgeon frown. When we sleep on our stomachs, our neck is inclined upwards. And research shows that it can actually compress the cervical spine over time, contributing to neck pain, pinched nerves, and damaged disks later in life. In addition, you can’t exactly sleep with your face down in the pillow. Keeping the neck turned at such a sharp degree puts additional strain on those joints, exacerbating the damage caused by the incline.
There are no surprises here. Tobacco is bad for you. However, you may not know that it is also bad for your joints. Nicotine actually reduces blood flow, which means that your organs, joints, etc. all have decreased access to oxygenated blood. This makes it harder to maintain healthy tissues and you’re likely to experience more rapid degeneration, especially along the spine.
Maintaining Poor Posture
Posture really does matter. It’s an important social cue that evokes confidence, and it’s great for ensuring that your joints are all in the position that gives them the most support. Unfortunately, sitting too long at the computer and failing to maintain adequate supporting muscles both make it much harder to maintain proper posture.
When the Damage is Already Done
We can always improve our habits to limit joint pain and further degeneration, but we can’t necessarily undo existing damage without help. If you or a loved one is suffering from osteoarthritis Los Angeles, then it is imperative that you speak with a specialist. With their help, you can put together a working treatment plan to maximize comfort and minimize future damage. In addition, physical therapy can sometimes help to correct bad habits and strengthen the muscles required to support your joints.