Did you know that bone and joint conditions are reported by US citizens more frequently than any other health condition? It is estimated that these conditions occur in nearly one in two people over the age of 18 years of age.

This month Deaconess Faith Community Nurse Ministries wants to raise awareness and encourage people with preventative information and activities to share their stories and celebrate Bone and Joint Health Awareness Month.

Today, roughly 48% of the American adult population is affected by some type of bone or joint conditions, which are common reasons for chronic pain and disabilities. However, there are preventative activities that one can do to avoid problems down the road.

First, losing weight, if one is overweight, can make a difference in joint wear and tear. It has been demonstrated that the more one weighs, the more stress one places on the joints. Losing even a few pounds can make a big difference. Faith Community Nurses work with individuals and groups to lose those few pounds that can make a difference to your joints.

Secondly, stretching and warming up before and after exercise routines can help to prevent injury. A simple 5 to 10 minutes stretching warm-up will allow the joints, ligaments and muscles to reduce tightness and be ready for exercise. Furthermore, doing yoga twice a week can make other workouts easier and safer for joints.

Thirdly, wearing supportive shoes does make a difference in your legs and feet. Women who wear high heels consistently are ten times more likely to have feet, ankle and knee problems. Preventing feet and ankle problems start with good fitted shoes that provide support to the back and knees.

Lastly, taking calcium with Vitamin D, especially for women in the winter months, is crucial for good bone health. Research has demonstrated that women are more likely to develop osteoporosis when Vitamin D is lacking. The lack of sunlight in the winter months decreases the amount of Vitamin D, which enhances calcium uptake in the bones. Taking a calcium supplement with Vitamin D at a meal can make bones strong and healthy.

Faith Community Nurses help individuals and faith communities to care for their joints and bones. To learn more about how one can incorporate these and other strategies for bone and joint health, contact Rev. Donna Pupillo at dpupillo@faithnurses.org.

 We want to hear from you! Feel free to share ways you take care of your bones and joints, so we can share with others.