February 24, 2020 Orthopedic health problems are extremely common. Some of the conditions most commonly associated with orthopedic health include arthritis, bursitis, fibromyalgia, and lower back pain. These ailments are extremely painful, and keep individuals from living an active lifestyle. As the conditions become more severe, they can also lead to severe joint and bone problems. As patients begin to experience these problems, their quality of life deteriorates. Preventing these problems is easier than many people think. “Too often, people do not think about their orthopedic health until it is too late,” says Dr. Jason Sparks of the Spine & Orthopedic Specialists Tulsa. “However, by simply incorporating healthy habits into everyday life, it is easy to prevent problems from forming. When patients do this, they can prevent pain and eliminate any future need for invasive treatments and long recovery times.” Eat a Healthy Diet Like all other aspects of health, a proper diet is important for orthopedic health. Calcium and vitamin D are two sources that are extremely important for the bones and joints. Both of these key nutrients form and maintain healthy bones. Working together, vitamin D also helps the body absorb calcium, which is a main building block in the body. Most people do not get the recommended daily values of these nutrients in their diet. When calcium or vitamin D cannot be obtained through the diet, supplements are necessary. Exercise Regularly In addition to the diet, physical activity is just as important for maintaining good orthopedic health. Rigorous exercise should be avoided, as this can place undue stress on the joints. Instead, using handheld weights, resistance bands, and going for a brisk walk is often enough to restore health to the bones and joints. Maintain Proper Posture Physical exercise can also help a person maintain good posture, an essential component of orthopedic health. By keeping bones and joints healthy, it is easier to sit with a straight spine with the shoulders back. Feet must also remain flat on the floor at all times, so weight is evenly distributed. These measures will reduce the stress placed on the back and shoulders, leading to better orthopedic health overall. Look for Changes It is also important to know one’s body, so any changes can be identified and treated right away. For example, when there is pain and weakness in a bone or joint, preventative treatments can be applied right away. These include icing the area and covering and compressing the area to keep it intact. If the pain or weakness continues, it is important to see a doctor so other treatments can begin immediately. Wear Proper Shoes Although many people may not consider it, the shoes a person wears also has a great impact on orthopedic health. High heels weaken the bones of the ankle. High heels can also cause changes in the alignment of the spine, hips, and rest of the body. Over time, that can cause real damage and may even requirer the wearer to undergo surgery. Shoes should always allow the foot to remain in a neutral position. They should also always fit properly, and remain loose enough around the foot to encourage proper circulation.