A human body has number of joints that allow it to bend and twist. These bends and twists allow a human body to perform different functions like walking, writing, jumping, dancing, etc. A joint is nothing but a point where two or more bones meet. A human body has four types of joints. These are sutures, hinge, ball & socket and gliding joints. Each of these joints provides different kinds of flexibility and movement to the body. For example, hinge joints allow movement only in one direction as in the elbow and knee, whereas ball and socket joint allow movement in a complete circle as in the shoulder.
Whatever be the kind of joint, the basic anatomy of the joint is similar i.e. it has a ligament and cartilage. Ligament is like a muscle that joins two bones, whereas cartilage is a smooth & elastic tissue that gives a cushion to the joint and prevents bones from rubbing against each other.
The joints pain starts to show up when cartilage starts loosing its cushioning properties. This can happen because of various reasons. The most common reason is aging. With age, the cartilage becomes thinner, and thus, becomes more prone to damage and less effective in cushioning. The other reason could be some damage to the cartilage. A small injury in childhood can show up as a big damage to the cartilage in the old age. The cartilage could also get damaged due to the weight the joint has to carry. For example, an obese person is more likely to have a knee joint pain compared to a thin person. This is because the ligaments wear out faster in case of an obese person.
Since all the movements in a human body are because of joints and any pain in the joints makes life difficult, it is very essential to have healthy joints. Healthy joints can be achieved through various ways. Some of them are mentioned below:
It is very important to exercise regularly to keep the body fit and flexible. Simple exercises like walking, cycling, and swimming are very effective in keeping the joints healthy. It is important not to stress the body too much while exercising; otherwise instead of doing good, it may harm the joints. The variations in exercises also help as each type of exercise acts on different joints and parts of the body.
Maintaining the right body weight is also very important in order to have healthy joints. The joints have to work hard to lift the weight of an obese person resulting in more wear and tear. Contrarily, having very less body mass is also not good for the joints as the stresses that the muscles normally bear are also borne by the joints, hence leading to accelerated wear and tear.
Intake Of Healthy Diet
It is essential to have a healthy and nutritious diet. This will not only help to maintain the body weight, but also provide the required nutrition to the body. A diet rich in protein is must since proteins help in making muscles and in repairing the tissues. Intake of calcium rich diet, especially in women, is also important to have healthy bones and joints. Importance of vitamin D with its anti-inflammation property cannot be undermined for having healthy joints.
If you are suffering from arthritis, it is advised to consult your doctor for deciding your exercise regime and diet.