In anatomy, a joint is any point where two bones meet. There are about 350 such points in the adult human body. Some move freely, like the ball and socket joints in your hip. Some move only a little, like the joints between the vertebrae of your spine. Some joints don’t move at all – the reason why you should become very concerned over a loose tooth (unless you are 7 years old).


This may go without saying, but joints are very important to your skeleton. When joints aren’t healthy, the skeleton becomes less efficient at moving around. Pain and lack of mobility are sure to follow. Unhealthy joints make the skeleton work harder to support the weight of the body. That’s not just painful. It also increases the risk of a slip and fall injury, and may further worsen joints that are already inflamed or damaged.


Unhealthy joints can also have a huge impact on surrounding soft tissues. When two neighboring bones grind against one another, they form bone spurs – the hallmark symptom of osteoarthritis, which may greatly harm the spinal cord. And when a herniated disk or bone spur pinches the sciatic nerve, severe pain and even incontinence can result.


How to Promote Joint Health


There are many ways you can help keep your important joints healthy. Stay active. Favor low-impact exercise. Maintain a healthy posture. Protect yourself from injury. Maintain a healthy weight, and incorporate foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and vitamin D into your diet. Stretch, especially when you feel stiff. Strengthen your core. And when one of your joints does become injured, seek medical attention right away.


It’s no coincidence that orthopedic therapy promotes joint health in a number of ways. It is low-impact exercise which keeps patients active, stretches them out, strengthens their cores, helps them recover from existing injuries, reduces their risk of future injuries, and can even help them lose weight (although that isn’t its intended purpose).


3 Ways Orthopedic Therapy Helps Joints


Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why orthopedic therapy is one of the best things you can do to improve your joint health!


  1. Reduced pain. Pain management is one of the most common reasons why people seek orthopedic therapy. If you are managing a chronic condition or have recently experienced a joint injury such as a bone fracture, orthopedic therapy can help you live free of pain. Carefully planned light exercise will direct increased blood flow to injured joints and soft tissues, thereby supplying them with the hormones and proteins which naturally carry out repairs in the body!


  1. Reduced inflammation. Chronic inflammation doesn’t just make it uncomfortable to move. It can also interfere with the body’s natural ability to heal, thus extending the time it takes to recover from injury. It’s not certain exactly how orthopedic therapy reduces inflammation. It may be because it stimulates the production of certain helpful proteins called cytokines. It may be because it increases endogenous antioxidants. Regardless of the exact mechanisms behind it, the simple fact remains: the more physically active the patient, the lower their risk of inflammation.


  1. Increased mobility. Obviously, the special stretches and physical exercises that constitute orthopedic therapy don’t just change the body on a molecular level. By strengthening their muscles, tendons and ligaments, a patient also significantly reduces the amount of stress each movement places on their joints. That means less pain, improved functionality of the skeleton, and a greater range of motion than the patient may have enjoyed for many years.


Are you suffering from chronic pain, or eager to recover from an injury as quickly and fully as possible? Then Acucare Physical Therapy is here to give you orthopedic therapy’s best results! We welcome you to contact our clinic in Sioux Falls, SD today to schedule your initial consultation.