Every athlete – whether weekend warrior or serious competitor – knows that aches and pains are a normal part of life. Repetitive stress is hard on joints, and its effects can get worse over time. Sports like running, biking, tennis, volleyball and basketball tend to wear on the body’s weight-bearing joints, especially the knees. But it’s not just the knees. Elbows, shoulders, wrists, ankles, and hips are all affected by the constant demands placed on them by sports activities.
If you are an athlete who puts your body through regular intense activity, you may be overusing or injuring your joints, even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms yet. And while you may think it’s just part of the game to push through the pain, you may be putting yourself at more risk than you realize.
According to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, professional soccer players have ten times the risk of arthritis later in life – even if they never suffered a noticeable injury.1
So how can you mitigate your chances of injury without giving up doing what you love? Just as in sports, the best defense is a good offense. The right equipment – especially supportive shoes and protective gear – along with appropriate stretching and warm-up exercises can mean the difference between staying healthy and hurting yourself.
Taking joint protection supplements, like Barlean’s Joint Relief, is also a good way to help stave off injury. Joint Relief provides 800 mg of purified Omega-7 and Hyaluronic Acid. Research suggest that Omega-7 may reduce inflammation and strengthen the nervous system and joints. Hyaluronic acid is widely used to support increased cushioning in the joints and improve the quality of synovial fluid (the fluid that protects joints and bones by acting as a lubricant and shock absorber.)*
As an athlete, remember that preventing damage to your joints is always the best course of action. So keep moving and have fun, but take care of yourself. It’s the best insurance policy you have to keep performing at your best for years to come.