Top 10 Ways to Protect Your Joints


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­Taking care of your joints should, to the casual observer, look like you're taking care of your spirit. Soak in a nice warm bath. The heat soothes and relaxes the muscles and joints, and the water gives the joints a needed break from supporting you and fighting gravity all at once. A detachable shower head can help focus the water on joints that may especially feel stiff.

Paraffin baths aren't really baths, and instead of dipping into water, you'll be dipping yourself into hot wax (not too hot). Once hands or feet have been coated in the wax, it hardens and another person wraps the hands or feet with a cloth covering to retain the heat.

Treat yourself to massages. Professional massages are great for those of us who can regularly afford them, but massaging your own joints has benefits as well, such as lowered levels of discomfort and increased grip strength.

Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the release of pain-blocking endorphins in your body, meaning those achy signals your joints send won't be delivered. During your treatment, a number of superthin needles will be lightly inserted into your skin and left there for up to an hour. These needles can be warmed or even carry a slight electrical current to help relax your muscles. While scientific data is still in short supply regarding acupuncture, there are many practitioners and patients who believe it can help with arthritis symptoms. Relieving pain can help you relax, meaning your joints can also relax.