Bones support you and allow you to move. They protect your brain, heart and other important organs from injury. Bones also store nutrients like calcium, which help keep our bones strong, and then release them into the body when you need them for other uses. If you don’t keep your bones healthy, they can become weak and even break. Broken bones and fractures can be painful, and could cause long-lasting health problems.
Joints are places where two bones in your body meet, such as your elbow or knee. Joints also have cartilage, which acts as a spongy shock absorber on the ends of the bones to prevent them from rubbing against each other. More importantly, your joints help you move and stay active
There are many things you can do to keep your bones and joints healthy, including:
- Eating a balanced diet while increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake. Dairy products, vegetables, eggs and salmon are great additions to your diet.
- Exercising to increase circulation in your joints and maintaining a healthy weight. Extra weight can add pressure to your joints, often causing pain and swelling.
- Using ice packs or a bag of frozen vegetables to relieve sore joints.
- Telling your health care provider if your pain is improving or worsening. He or she may have better treatment options that can help.
For more information on keeping your bones and joints healthy, click or download these easy-to-read publications from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS):