Bone & Joint Health - by Dr Andrew Goldberg OBE

Dr Andrew Goldberg

Our body has hundreds of joints which enable us to be mobile and agile. Most of them are called synovial joints in which two ends of the bone are lined by shock absorbing cartilage and a drop of fluid that helps them glide smoothly and last a lifetime but is there anything you can do to look after them better?

By doing simple things like choosing the right shoes, not carrying too much at one time and moving regularly, you are already minimising your chances of getting joint pain and problems. In sports such as tennis and netball, where you are constantly changing direction at speed, it’s important to choose a shoe that is supportive enough to prevent your foot arches from collapsing or your ankles from turning. 

As you age, your joints become more vulnerable to wear, tear and injury as the shock absorbing cartilage surrounding them may soften or wear down - consequently reducing the joint mobility. Movement and exercise are essential to allow the joint lubricating fluid to reduce friction and keep the cartilage healthy. 

In addition keeping your muscles active is really important as weak muscles are associated with old age and weakness and brittleness of bones, and so daily walking or carrying out some household chores, decreases the chances of suffering with joint pain as you age.

Does exercise damage your joints?

There is great evidence that exercise improves not just heart and lung health but also keeps your joints active and mobile. Poor training methods or injury however can lead to serious problems and are best addressed by seeking expert advice sooner rather than later, to keep you mobile for years to come. 

Mr Goldberg is a consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Wellington Hospital in St Johns Wood and Elstree, Hertfordshire. He specialises in Foot & Ankle issues and deals with patients of all ages and from all around the world, including children with flat feet to elite sportsmen with sports injuries. He runs the London Ankle & Arthritis Centre, which is one of the highest volume centres for ankle replacements in the UK.