Dentistry Gym – joint health is like tooth health
Khalil Hussein explains the importance of looking after our joints and introduces some simple exercises to help keep you pain free.
When it comes to your joints, why is it that no one thinks of them the same way they think of their teeth?
As dentists, I’m sure that you would advise all of your patients to brush and floss their teeth daily (well I hope you do).
Modern-day diets, stress, and other factors have an impact on the health of the teeth. Brushing in the morning and evening as well as regular flossing can help mitigate many issues from arising.
As well as this, all surfaces of the teeth must be kept clean. It’s no use only brushing the front of the tooth surface or only the back. Brushing all areas and flossing helps keep all surfaces clean. Thus it helps keep the tooth from wearing down and causing many issues such as decay and gum disease.
Your joints require the same daily TLC (tender loving care) to keep them healthy. The one plus side of your joints is that, unlike teeth, joints adapt to the stressors we apply to them.
So, even if your joints are a bit worse for wear, we can undo most problems. Even if your joints have severely degenerated, you have the ability to make them stronger and more flexible. Stronger and more flexible joints often hurt less too!
Treat your joints like your teeth
Having joints that move well and are strong will make your life infinitely better.
People often underestimate how much they need a certain joint until they end up with pain and find themselves unable to do even normal daily tasks.
As a dentist, joint health is even more paramount because of the rigorous stressors that your body has to undergo. An injury will not only make you feel horrible, but it can often end up costing you money and time because you’re unable to work!
Start treating your joints like your teeth and start looking after them.
Regular movement throughout the day is a must. Your joints gain most of their blood supply via osmosis (the diffusion of bodily fluids and gases). Without movement, your joints start to become a bit starved of the nutrients they need to function properly.
The longer this goes on the more unhealthy the joint gets and the harder it is for it to utilise said nutrients (a self-perpetuating problem!).
If you don’t use it, you lose it
Take a few moments between patients to stand up and go through the CARs routine in the video (you can pick one joint at a time if you are strapped for time). It will only take 30-60 seconds to complete a few movements that will help you brush and floss your joints!
It’s very important that when doing any movements you try to utilise the biggest range of movement possible.
Remember how I mentioned brushing only the front of the teeth instead of all the surfaces? Moving in only a few ranges of motion is the equivalent.
You need to move in multiple directions to ‘clean’ all of the joint surfaces and keep them healthy.
The old adage – if you don’t use it, you lose it – definitely applies here!
If you never move your shoulder into full extension, over time you can lose access to that range of motion (the process is slow but it does occur).
As per the video instructions, be mindful about what you’re feeling during the motions.
The only thing to avoid is what is called closing angle pain. This refers to any pinching or sharp pain you feel when doing things like looking up into extension.
When you do the motions you should feel joints stretching not pinching.
If you have any problems, send me a message on Instagram and I’d be happy to help guide you further!
This class is designed for viewers to carry it out with minimal equipment at home. We don’t use weights so these exercises are quite safe for most people.
However, before conducting any exercises please consult your GP or allied health therapist for guidance and advice about your own circumstances and whether these exercises are the right thing for you.
Always seek medical advice before starting any exercise program.