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15 Bad Habits Killing Your Joints- What To Do Instead

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in March of 2021. For the original video go to

Bob: Today, we're going to talk about five bad habits that are killing your joints and what to do instead. We have a lot of these.

Brad: Yeah, you don't even think about a lot of these things.

Bob: No, we have a lot of experience with this, because we're old and we're starting to kill our joints. All right. So number one, you're going to avoid wearing high heels. I mean, you can wear them for special events. Brad, you can wear them on special events.

Brad: LOL. Whew.

Bob: But don't be wearing them every day. You know, around the house.

Brad: You know, it's really hard on those metatarsals the weight going down and the bunions.

Bob: Yes, they can cause bunions, hammertoes. The weight is tipped forward and you're getting more weigh on your toes. So, it's just not good. There's no way about it there.

Brad: They look good, though.

Bob: They look good.

Brad: On some women, they look really good.

Bob: What does that mean?

Brad: I'm just sayin', it's a fashion statement. You know, that's why you wear them.

Bob: Number two, too much texting. We're talking about stress on the CMC joint, in the thumb, especially. Brad actually did a video on that. The carpometacarpal joint, at the base of the thumb. It's being very active when you're texting.

Brad: It can be confused with wrist pain. People think it's the wrist and it actually is their thumb, the base of their thumb.

Bob: Pretty easy to fire that up. In that case, one, you're going to maybe do more of the texting through audio, right? Or you can also get a brace for your thumb.

Brad: Yep. There's some nice massages. We got a video on that too.

Bob: Yep. Number three, sleeping on your stomach. That's a bad habit. What it’s doing is you're putting your head all the way to the left or all the way to the right, which is putting your neck, the joints, at end range. As a rule of thumb, our joints don't like to be at end range.

Brad: For any length of time.

Bob: For any length of time, right. And that goes for closed back or open, it really doesn't like it. So, number four, you're not stretching enough. This is one Brad and I probably see. The number one thing that you can do to improve your joint pain, is to stretch that joint. The muscles above it and the muscles below it. And if you're not stretching enough, we have a million videos on this. So, whatever the problem you have, if you have knee pain, we show you how to stretch your knee, so that you can decrease that pain levels.

Brad: And for this, stretching, you do want to go to end range but we're not going to hold it there very long.

Bob: Right.

Brad: But, there is an exception there.

Bob: Yeah, you don't want to hold it for a half hour.

Brad: No, we're just doing some short stretches, end range good for it.

Bob: Number five, not getting enough sleep. Now, people wouldn't think that had anything to do with your joints, but they actually did a study, Brad. And people, if they felt like they had a restless night, their arthritis felt worse. The joints felt worse. The question is, they don't really know, it might be that it triggers inflammation, when you don't sleep well. Sleeping is always really important. Number six, if you want another reason to stop smoking this is it. Blood flow to the bones, and also the discs, which are between the bones, is decreased with smoking. It limits the calcium the body can take in. So lots of bad things. I always like tell the story, Brad. I had a lady that worked for me and her nephew actually cut off one of his fingers at a sawmill.

Brad: What's it got to do with this?

Bob: Because, he was only 17 or something like that, at the time, and they had trouble reattaching it because his arteries were so bad because he was a smoker.

Brad: Oh it was a smoking effect, yeah, yeah.

Bob: So just to throw a little fear in you. Number seven, you're not strengthening enough. Same thing as with the stretching. If you don't keep the muscles around the joint strong, the joint itself has to take more weight bearing. The other thing that happens, Brad is Wolff's law. When you strengthen the bone actually reacts and thickens on you.

Brad: Right. Right. That's how you prevent osteoporosis.

Bob: Right. So, strengthening exercises are a big part of osteoporosis prevention. Actually, on our podcast, we're having someone this coming Friday. It won't be aired this Friday, but it'll be soon after.

Brad: Sure. I just wanted to mention, when you do strengthen, it's typically moderate weights. You're not doing these max heavyweights. For younger people, you can get away with that. But especially if you haven't lifted weights, moderate weights are good for the joints. Good for that bone growth but we don't want to overdo it.

Bob: All right. Number eight, is probably the most obvious statement I'm going to make today is, that if you're overweight that's going to put more stress on your joints. So you all know that and I guess it's just another reminder.

Brad: That's a challenging one. It’s like, stopping smoking, if you've done that for a while. But, there's ways to get by. And we have videos on that.

Bob: Sure. On weight loss.

Brad: There's a lot of good information to help you out and good friends and family.

Bob: Yep. Number nine, if you're carrying a bag, especially, I carry a bag for my paperwork and stuff. I always carry it on one same side. I know you're not supposed to do that, but you carry the bag on the same side, it’s stressing the joints on one side. If you don't have a roller for when you go on vacation. You're going on vacation, Brad. Do you have a roller suitcase?

Brad: No. My wife carries them. (LOL) No, we roll them.

Bob: It's like he loads up a pack mule there.

Brad: She is strong, Bob.

Bob: Well, good. She'll handle you.

Brad: I hope she doesn't see this.

Bob: Number ten, poor back posture. That just really puts pressure on the joints. You know, if you have that rounded out posture. You want to stack the bones like when you were born. They were made to have a S-curve in your back.

Brad: Everything there is designed in our body exceptionally well.

Bob: To be the strongest.

Brad: As long as we use it properly.

Bob: Yeah. Number eleven, Brad, you were going to talk about this.

Brad: Oh yeah. If you're using hand tools, for those of you who work in the trades or at home, garden tools, but particularly tools that vibrate, sanders, that kind of thing. Or if you're using tools where you're putting a lot of stress temporarily, and if you have arthritis, you know what we're talking about? Because you'll get done with the task and those especially those finger joints and wrist joints, they just ache afterwards. You know, you're beating those joints up. So, do something, if you cannot do it as long, have someone else do it because you want to keep those joints and make them last.

Bob: I felt, what helped me, Brad, is I have a weed trimmer that I actually push. But it really vibrates. It really vibrates and I did get one of those gloves. That seems to help.

Brad: The gloves with the cushion in it?

Bob: Yeah, got the cushion in it. It seems to make a big difference.

Brad: They come up with a lot of good ergonomic gloves, tools, shapes and things like that.

So it's worth paying a little extra to have a better grip, if you're looking at that.

Bob: Okay, number twelve. Being on the computer too much. If you're watching Bob and Brad, that's fine. You can also put us on TV.

Brad: Absolutely. You just keep watching.

Bob: But otherwise, especially if you have poor posture, you can have increased stress on your elbows, your wrists, your back, your shoulders, everything. You have to have it aligned correctly. And we have videos on that for you.

Brad: Right. Just Google "Bob and Brad posture" with the computer and we'll show you all the ins and outs.

Bob: Number thirteen. If you've got poor form, throughout the day. I'm going to give a couple examples, Brad. There's people who stand on one leg. They stand, for example, if you picture a woman maybe with a baby on her hip.

Brad: What about a guy?

Bob: Well, yeah, but women seem to do it because they have better hips, you know? So, they can rest that baby on their hip but then they're putting stress all on one side. So you want to even it out.

Brad: It's one of those things that's a habit. If you're right-handed, you know, I was carrying my granddaughter yesterday. She's a year and a half and I had her on my right side. I don't even think about it. I'm not going to carry with the left hand unless I actually cognitively think to do it.

Bob: You'd probably drop her.

Brad: Well, it's possible. I did have my daughter when she was a year old on the left side, and it was five o'clock in the morning and I was falling asleep and I almost did drop her. But I caught her.

Bob: You caught her.

Brad: Yeah, I could probably tell her that now she's 24 now.

Bob: She made it through the Brad years. LOL. So you can also be sitting wrong. That's the one I like to do.

Brad: Let me give you an example.

Brad: If you have a habit of doing this, when you're younger and you keep doing it and you're older, you'll probably pay the price at the hip, the knee, the ankle sooner or later.

Bob: - The chains of habit. They form and they're hard to break them.

Brad: Say no more, Bob.

Bob: But I have to think it every time, Brad. I don't know why, but when I eat at our island, I want to lean forward and I want a lean on one side. I don't know why but I have to consciously, sit up straight. All right. Number fourteen, just simply not moving enough. Joints love movement. Even arthritic joints, if the arthritis isn't too far along. But one thing that we suggest, if you're sitting, just every so often you're going to bend and straighten your knees. Let them swing back and forth. It lubricates the joint.

Brad: Ankle pumps. Knee kicks, marching, all these things you can do seated, you know.

Bob: And it doesn't take much. It gets that synovial fluid moving, which is kind of like the lubrication oil. And you're going to be in like Jake. That's an old saying. Number fifteen, the final one you'll want to avoid, especially if you're having arthritis in the hands. You want to avoid using the smaller joints, whenever possible. So if you have a coffee cup and if you're grabbing the handle, you're using the small joints of the hand. You actually want to grab it with the palm, like this and drink it like this. It warms up your hands then too.

Brad: Right and in the wintertime it's a pleasure.

Bob: The same with picking up a box. It's better to do with your palms, instead of the fingers. Even opening a jar, Brad, rather than using your fingers to grip the lid, if you can you want to use your palm.

Brad: Sure. You can get those sticky pads on there. That makes a big difference. For the coffee cup, here's the easy fix, Bob. You pull your drawer with a little hammer in it and you hit it, you just break the handle right off and then you don’t use the handle.

Bob: There you go.

Brad: Or you buy one without a handle.

Bob: What a genius.

Brad: I'm just sayin'.

Bob: All right. More great ideas from Brad Heineck.

Brad: Well, and it's cheap. It doesn't cost you anymore.

Bob: All right. Thanks everybody.

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