According to the Food and Drug Administration, since the year 2000, the number of joint replacement surgeries performed each year has been on the rise. In 2001, 165,000 hip joints and 326,000 knees were replaced in the United States alone.
Renaissance Orthopedics reports:
Between the years 1971-1975, 51% of cases of osteoarthritis were treated with knee replacements.2
• Between the years 2000-2003, 92% of cases of osteoarthritis were treated with total knee replacements.2
• By the year 2030, it is estimated that the number of knee replacements will increase from 450,400 to 3.48 million.2
• Also by the year 2030, it is estimated that the number of hip replacements will increase from 208,600 to 572,100.2

I remember as a young man in North Carolina, I can’t remember anyone with a joint replacement back in the 60’s. The FDA says that today modern medicine has allowed joint replacements to be easier and more available. Which sounds good, but are we having more replacements because it is easier or because our bodies are in worse shape than our parents and grandparents. I believe the latter.
In my practice I see people of all ages, from 20-95 years of age, and their joints are freezing up due to inactivity, poor diet, and being overweight. Let’s look at the importance of each.
Inactivity is a major cause of joints going bad. You would think by being inactive, your joints would last longer, however the opposite is true. Moving your joints through their full range of motion actually causes your body to inject synovial fluid into the joint. This synovial fluid works like oil, or WD40, on your joints. The lubrication will help keep arthritis away and keep your joint gliding along. Active Isolated Stretching elongates the muscles around your joints keeping the proper spacing in each of your joints to protect the cartilage, which is there to cushion the joint. By exercising at least 30 minutes a day and stretching every other day you can help your joints to last a lot longer than what we see in the statistics above.
Poor diet contributes to joint replacement by not providing the body the proper nutrients to repair and heal muscle tissue when you are active. When you exercise your body with strength training, walking, biking, stretching, or virtually any activity, you are creating slight muscle tears. The muscle tissues heal themselves faster with better nutrition. Many people are taking all these recovery powders, pills, and drinks, when all they need is a proper diet of fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruits. Eating lots of red meat actually creates more harm for the body than many think. Drinking plenty of water each day goes a long way in keeping your body hydrated. Add a lemon slice and now you are also balancing your ph level. It must be a fresh lemon and not a bottle of lemon juice. It is not the same.
Keeping your body weight under control is the final step to good joint health. Picture this, you have a small pickup truck and you decide to carry all the dirt that is in the back of a huge dump truck at one time. What do you think will happen to your little truck once you unload the dirt in the dump truck onto your truck? The axles will probably break! Well, that is what is happening to your body when you are overweight. Your body is designed to carry only so much weight for your height. So if you are 6’4” tall. You can carry more weight than if you 5’4” tall. Being overweight is not genetic either. You are not overweight because of the size of your bones either. Most people really do not have a clear concept of eating properly. I didn’t say eating perfectly! By keeping your weight at a healthy level, it will take the pressure off your joints, you will have increased energy to exercise every day, and your body will be able to heal itself after every activity.
Start today and get moving. Learn more about healthy eating, not dieting. Getting your body the energy it needs to get moving. Then get moving and I don’t care if you have to start walking around your house first, just move! Let’s reduce that weight so I can be with you longer in this lifetime. Remember- EAT TO LIVE- DON’T LIVE TO EAT!

Author's Bio: 

Butch Phelps is a licensed massage therapist, certified personal trainer, and certified Active Isolated Stretching therapist. Butch has studied the human over the last 6 years. He has worked with many seniors to see how their bodies would react to his treatment.