Orthopedic Health and Wellness: Nutrition, Exercise, and Lifestyle Choices for Strong Bones

group of people making yoga exercises at studio

Orthopedic Specialist-Recommended Best Practices to Implement Into Your Daily Life

Orthopedic issues can affect the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Just imagine a knee issue that keeps you from walking or a tear in your shoulder that prevents you from throwing a baseball.

Just like with most medical issues, the best form of treatment is prevention. Maintaining orthopedic health and wellness is crucial for an active lifestyle with no limitations. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or simply looking to enjoy life to the fullest in your golden years, the following six tips and best practices can help enhance bone, muscle, and joint strength, while mitigating orthopedic issues.

#1 – Exercise and Stay Active

Regular physical activity is key to maintaining orthopedic health. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise or physical activity is enough to keep the average person in shape. Ideally, you should mix up your routine to challenge your body.

For example, cycling, yoga, and strength training done in 50-minute intervals will suffice. Spread these sessions out over the course of a week to ensure you allow enough time for recovery and don’t overexert yourself. High school and collegiate athletes should explore the benefits of professional athletic training.

#2 – Balanced Diet

Although the saying, “You are what you eat,” shouldn’t be taken literally, diet does have a significant impact on a person’s weight, physique, and health. The overconsumption of processed foods, sugar, alcohol, sodium, and empty calories typically result in obesity, heart conditions, a higher risk of cancer, and other health risks.

To ensure optimum orthopedic health, you should incorporate foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, protein, and antioxidants into your diet. An orthopedic specialist can give you a better idea of the specific dietary choices you should make for your joint and muscle health, especially if you have a condition that makes you sensitive to inflammation.

#3 – Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is a byproduct of eating a healthy, balanced diet. So, why does it warrant its own section?

People who are obese or even slightly above the ideal weight range are at a much higher risk of developing orthopedic issues. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, for every pound that the human body is overweight, it places approximately five pounds of pressure on the knee joints.

Additional pressure on the knee joints will progressively wear them down, causing critical orthopedic issues that reduce mobility and cause chronic pain. Those who have osteoarthritis or have previously experienced knee issues should be especially mindful of maintaining a healthy weight.

#4 – Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is essential to maintaining ideal orthopedic health. Proper hydration is vital for joint lubrication and overall bodily function. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Hydration is especially important for those leading an active lifestyle.

#5 – Proper Ergonomics

There are a significant number of individuals who have developed work-related musculoskeletal issues simply due to poor ergonomics. Sitting with improper posture, poor lumbar support, or incorrect arm and wrist alignment can result in low back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other orthopedic conditions that cause pain and discomfort.

With many folks now working from home on a full-time or hybrid schedule, it’s more important than ever to assess if your office space is ergonomically correct. When working in an office environment, be sure to:

  • Have your monitor at the proper eye level.
  • Keep your neck and head straight.
  • Maintain proper arm position and elbow angle.
  • Keep wrists flat and neutral.
  • Keep your feet flat on the ground.
  • Use a chair with proper lumbar support.

#6 – Orthopedic Checkups

Orthopedic checkups are invaluable for maintaining and optimizing musculoskeletal health. These routine examinations, conducted by orthopedic specialists, detect early signs of orthopedic conditions, such as arthritis, fractures, or ligament injuries. By identifying issues in their early stages, patients can receive timely interventions and personalized treatment plans, preventing the progression of potentially debilitating conditions.

Additionally, orthopedic checkups provide an opportunity to discuss lifestyle adjustments, exercise routines, and ergonomic improvements that can enhance overall orthopedic health. Whether you’re an athlete seeking to prevent injuries or an individual looking to maintain mobility, regular orthopedic checkups are essential for a proactive approach to bone, muscle, and joint health.

Time to Prioritize Your Orthopedic Health

By incorporating these tips and best practices into your daily routine, you can enhance your orthopedic health and wellness. Remember that prevention is often the best approach, but it’s never too late to start prioritizing your musculoskeletal health. Consult with healthcare professionals for personalized guidance and stay proactive in caring for your bones, muscles, and joints to enjoy a lifetime of mobility and vitality.

Finding advanced orthopedic doctors near you is as easy as performing a Google search. Be sure to carefully evaluate your prospective orthopedic specialist by reading reviews and going through their website. Some orthopedic doctors can treat a wide array of orthopedic issues, while others specialize in certain parts of the anatomy.

If you’re a resident of Wichita, orthopedic surgeons can be found under the same roof as orthopedic doctors at certain practices that are well-established. This helps ensure that everyone remains on the same page during a patient hand-off, which yields better healthcare outcomes.