Orthopaedics is the medical specialty that deals with disorders of the joints and spine. Many people develop orthopaedic problems due to earlier misuse and injury. Taking care of your joints and spine in your younger years can prevent problems when you are older. Follow these tips to ensure healthy joints and spinal function throughout your life.

1 – Eat A Healthy Diet

A good diet ensures that your body has the building materials for cellular replacement and disease resistance. Choose lean meats and fish, liberal amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains for energy and stamina. A healthy diet can also help your body heal minor injuries faster.

2 – Exercise Regularly

Constant sitting at a desk or working in front of a computer screen can have a damaging effect on muscles, tendons and ligaments that support the body’s joints. A regular exercise program will help to keep muscles and joints healthy, to prevent the early onset of orthopaedic disorders.

3 – Always Warm Up Before Exercising

Warming up before engaging in exercise is a critical way to avoid injuries. Warming up increases blood flow to muscles and tendons, which makes them more flexible and less prone to injury. Take a few moments to stretch, jog in place and do a few bends before beginning vigorous activity.

4 – Wear Appropriate Shoes

As in “the right tool for the right job,” the right shoe for the activity can help not only aid performance, but also will help to avoid injury. For walking, choose shoes that provide good arch support and allow the toes to spread naturally. For athletic activities, a shoe that provides good support and fits well can help you to excel. Narrow-toed shoes and stiletto heels can cause foot pain and misalignment of the joints and spine. If you begin to experience chronic foot pain, consult with a specialist to resolve the problem and prevent further orthopaedic problems.

5 – Take Care of Minor Injuries

Each sport poses its own risk for injuries. Running may cause foot, ankle or knee injuries. Tennis may cause shoulder and ankle injuries. Soccer often causes ankle injuries or pain from direct blows. Ignoring these problems can lead to more severe orthopaedic disorders later in life. Treat the injury as soon as it occurs with rest, icing the affected care, compression and elevation.

6 – See An Orthopaedic Specialist When Needed

If traditional home treatment does not provide relief from joint or spinal pain, make an appointment to see an orthopaedist. These physicians receive additional training that allows them to determine the most effective treatment for orthopaedic injuries.

By paying attention to these six tips, you can prevent orthopaedic injuries and ensure that you have healthy bones and joints throughout your life.