Tag: Joint health

How important is it to protect your joints when you’re highly active?

Fitness man bike

Protecting our joints for optimal performance today is one thing, futureproofing them to continue to challenge yourself physically later in life is another. It used to be widely accepted that joint pain as we age was inevitable, and simply due to ‘wear and tear’ – a catch phrase to explain any pain, loss of mobility or function.  Proper use over our lifetime keeps joints lubricated and stimulates the repair and rebuilding process. A lack of use on the other hand, allows the cartilage to become dryer, more brittle and more prone to damage over time. Highly active individuals need to balance the ‘risk’ that physical activity brings to our joints – both in the short and long term – and the benefits that movement brings to our joints. For the most part physical activity, training and sports have benefits that far outweigh any risks, but looking at the protection of our joints holistically amidst training structure, diet and any supplementation is an important measure. How can we best protect our joints? Anything that causes pain is going to be detrimental to performance and research has been pretty clear that you can’t repair damaged cartilage through surgery, with the management of symptoms such as cortisone and NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) being largely ineffective or short term.  In a paper published from Stanford University, doctors warn that “the greatest threat to the health of the aging athlete is not the aging process itself but rather inactivity. Motion is critical to articular cartilage health, repair, and homeostasis (a… Read More