Top Five Resolutions For Bone And Joint Health

With a little help from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, we have a list of the top five resolutions you can make to protect bone health and prevent bone and joint injuries.

 

As you prepare to count down the last seconds of 2014, we have a countdown of the top five resolutions you can make to keep your bones and joints safe and healthy in 2015.

Resolution #5: Be aware of what you carry, and how you carry it. If you are heaving a heavy backpack or an over-stuffed purse with you every day, you could be risking a neck, back, or shoulder injury. Try to distribute weight evenly across your shoulders. If you are lifting something heavy, bend at the knees, not at the waist, and use your leg muscles to lift.

Resolution #4: Make joint flexibility a daily focus. Research tells us that we need thirty minutes of physical activity every day to keep our joints flexible and our bone and cartilage tissues healthy. Exercise can also strengthen the muscles around the joints and reduce pain and stiffness.

Resolution #3: Prevent falls at home by eliminating hazards. As our population ages, approximately 2.3 million Americans go to the emergency room annually with fall-related injuries. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for the elderly, and most falls occur at home. Safety modifications can significantly improve your safety, and that of elderly relatives and friends. Use slip-resistant rugs in the bathroom and install handrails.

Resolution #2: Give your full attention to the road when you drive. Car accident injuries fill emergency rooms, and distracted drivers cause many of these accidents. The best way to protect yourself is to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Adjust your mirrors and controls before you back out of your parking space. Don’t text or use your mobile phone while you drive. Your safety and that of the drivers around you depends on your good driving habits.

Resolution #1: Be your own healthcare advocate. Communication is one of the most powerful tools you have to ensure your health. Take responsibility as a partner with your physician to make good health your goal. Write down your questions and concerns in advance of appointments, and don’t be afraid to ask for more information if you don’t understand your treatment options. When you and your physician work as a team to evaluate your treatment, you can make informed decisions that are the best fit for your lifestyle and goals.

Bone and joint health depends on exercise, a nutritious diet, and good habits, but understanding your healthcare choices is also important. We are here to work with you and encourage the healthy habits that will make 2015 your best year yet.

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