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STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — Foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Armen Hagopjanian visited KCAL9 Tuesday to talk about joint health and preventative measures during this active sports season.
As the weather slowly cools, joint pain is going to increase for the 30 percent of adults in America who experience joint pain. Also, with the recent ankle injury to Yankee’s Captain Derek Jeter, sports enthusiasts everywhere should know that advancements in modern technology can help anyone who experiences severe ankle injuries return to the sport they love.
1. If your injury is severe, see a specialist!
While Derek Jeter’s fractured ankle required surgery, there are more severe injuries that require more advanced treatments. If you’re experiencing pain, first try over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the pain and swelling, as well as apply an ice pack to the affected area for 15-20 minutes a few times each day. With major advancements in technology, we can repair complex joints such as an ankle, using state of the art prosthetics at the Glendale Outpatient Surgery Center.
2. Eat Right!
A Healthy and balanced diet helps build strong bones, which will help keep you upright and avoid falls that lead to joint damage. Calcium helps build strong bones with optimum bone mass, and Vitamin D allows calcium from the foods you eat to be readily absorbed. Foods such as yogurt, broccoli, kale and dairy products are all good for bone health. Fatty cold-water fish such as salmon and mackerel are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids, which keep your joints healthy and reduce inflammation.
3. Take Supplements
Not everyone is a fan of fish or dairy products. If you are lactose intolerant, or just simply do not like the foods rich in vitamin D or calcium, try taking supplements such as calcium pills and fish oil capsules. Always ask your doctor before starting to take supplements.
Exercise can help you lose pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Losing weight reduces the pressure on your knees, hips and back and helps prevent joint injury. Research has shown that with every pound gained, a person puts four times more stress on their knees. Low impact exercises such as walking, swimming or bicycling will reduce the risk of joint injuries. Light weight lifting exercises should also be included in a workout routine, but if you have arthritis check with your doctor first.
5. Get Outside!
We get 80 to 90 percent of our vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. If your job requires you to sit by a computer all day, take breaks and walk outside. At the very least, practice good posture. Sitting up straight protects your joints. More movement means less stiffness in your joints, so get up and get moving. Try taking calls standing, or if possible, outside to get your Vitamin D exposure.
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