Online Articles Scaring You? We Tell You Why Your Joints May Be Doing Okay

Recently, we came across an article that announced it would tell you four things you were doing that were “ruining your joints.” Yikes! While it’s definitely possible that you might contribute over time to some joint issues, four things you’re doing to ruin your joints? Unlikely. As many such articles, its dire headline got our attention, as it was designed to – just like other similar health-related articles that purport to protect you from all sorts of fates-worse-than-death. We took a look and we can re-asssure you that while they include statistics and data, it’s also a bit misleading… and your joints may be in better shape than you fear.

The article started off by touting the sheer number of joint replacement surgeries and the increase in recent years, as many people struggle to stay healthy, longer. Then, they got into the meat-and-potatoes of it – the ways you could be “ruining” your joints and the first on their list was “too much cardio.” Running gets a bad rap and if a runner had a dime for every time a well-meaning friend or relative inquired (or made accusations) after the health of his/her knees, those expensive running shoes would pay for themselves! The article mentioned running as well as the force that running exerts on the knee. Yet, according to a recent large-scale study published in Runner’s World, runners actually tend to have healthier knees than non-runners! Instead of facing crippling joint replacement, as the article and its headline suggest, even heavy mileage did not impact knee health (pun intended). While the joint-health article does reference the importance of cross-training (which no serious runner would dream of disputing), it does not refer to current test data – which utilized x-ray imaging to capture joint health information.

Also highlighted as joint-killers were: excess weight, inflexibility, and improper techniques as in yoga. Now, we’re fairly sure that announcing carrying excessive weight can cause joint damage isn’t actually news. Also, staying flexible and using proper form (in any activity) is important; but as far as it being a daily contributing factor to your ultimately-impending joint replacement? Again, this is a bit of an alarmist reaction as well as misleading. From our perspective, there are contradictions in the advice given that could lead someone to changing behavior that really doesn’t need to be changed. You want to drop extra weight? Maybe not a bad idea. You’re running safely and feel good? Don’t panic about your knees!

Our advice is simple: moderation and common sense. If you are training in any sport, hobby, or activity, be sure to allow your body adequate rest and proper training and fueling. If you notice pain, problems, limited mobility, stiffness, or any other bothersome symptoms, seek prompt treatment and address any joint problems early on. The bottom line is even if you are hooked by the “click-bait” you don’t have to be miserable in the boat with the other fish. Use common sense when reading these articles, and remember that just because there are some snazzy doctor quotes and statistics it may still not be relevant or accurate on the whole. Find a logical balance with your activities, flexibility, and rest and pay attention to your body. You won’t “ruin” your joints without really working at it! If you are worried about your joints or experiencing problems with your sports or hobbies, we’re happy to assess you. A member of our expertly trained and specialized staff will work to get you back in the swing of things, and keep your joints happy.