As we age or engage in physically demanding activities, joint pain becomes an unwelcome companion that can significantly impact our quality of life. Contrary to popular belief that movement exacerbates discomfort, targeted exercise can actually serve as a potent antidote to joint pain, fortifying the muscles that support our skeletal structure and increasing flexibility. If you’re looking for scientifically proven ways to reclaim your mobility, you can find exercises that help ease joint pain with an online search right now.
The Root of Joint Pain
As we age, our joints become more and more vulnerable to pain and sensitivity, which could be a herald of anything from simple overuse to an illness or disease. Arthritis, which is simply a medical term for the inflammation of joints, is used to describe around 200 different conditions that affect our joints, as well the connective tissue that surrounds them.
Several other conditions can cause joint pain in addition to arthritis, such as gout, a sports injury or infection. All these conditions have their own specific list of symptoms, but many of them involve red, swollen, and puffy joints. If left untreated, joint pain can cause permanent loss of range of motion, and weakness.
One of the best things you can do for yourself if you’ve been experiencing joint pain is to maintain a regular exercise regime. Regular exercise and physical activity can help maintain muscular strength, will reduce inflammation, and can even increase your pain tolerance, all of which are helpful to sore and aching joints.
Here’s a list of some exercises that are really helpful for easing aching joints.
Water can be a boon for aching joints since it’s a cardio exercise that doesn’t impact joints as much as running or jogging. You can also stretch your muscles gently in the water in a way that’s not possible on land. Swimming a few laps every day has been shown to improve the joint pain of people with rheumatoid arthritis.
One of the best and most underrated exercises is walking. It’s free, you can literally do it anywhere (including inside), and it’s low impact. If walking doesn’t feel strenuous enough, take along a small pair of hand weights, and use them to give yourself an upper body work out at the same time.
Yoga is excellent for improving flexibility, stability, and is also easy on sore joints. This exercise improves body awareness, which increases our coordination and balance. Many yoga poses are designed to improve our flexibility and range-of-motion, which is great for stretching out stiff, sore joints.
4. Strength Training
One of the worst side effects of aching joints is how easy it is to let our muscles in the surrounding area weaken. Strength training with weights and resistance bands is a great way to maintain muscular strength without putting pressure on our joints. Doing strength training exercises for as little as six weeks has been shown to have a positive impact on people with arthritis.
Another great way to improve our muscular strength and coordination is Pilates, a low impact strength workout that can help relieve pressure on hips and knees. Pilates uses resistance bands and weights to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination. The breathing exercises that are common in a Pilates class can also help you manage pain and assist in coping with the symptoms of arthritis.
For many people, the smooth motion of pedaling a bicycle can help loosen up sore joints, and avoids the pounding, jarring movement of other high-impact cardio activities like running. Cycling can also help strengthen quad muscles. If you find that biking on the road, or an upright bike at the gym is too hard on your knees and hips, you can try a recumbent bicycle.
7. Water Workouts
Another type of water-based activity that’s excellent for joint pain is a water workout, an exercise class that takes place standing in a semi-deep pool. The buoyancy of the water relieves joint pain, and the resistance provides an even deeper stretch as muscles have to push harder to cut through the water.
8. Floor Stretches
There are lots of exercises that you can do right on your floor at home that can help stretch and strengthen irritated joints. You don’t need much since there are a lot of activities that you can do with just your body weight. If you wanted to invest in a helpful piece of equipment, a foam roller is great for stretching out sore joints.
Zumba is a Latin-dance-inspired fitness trend that combines the best parts of a dance class and aerobics workout into one exciting package. These routines rely on fluid movements rather than aggressive exercises which can hurt delicate joints.
10. Suspension Training
Another neat exercise that’s great for people with sore joints is suspension training, where you use straps that are suspended from an anchor point to leverage yourself into the air. While this exercise is great for building strength, it should be avoided if you have serious issues with your wrists and ankles.
Integrate these Exercises for a More Fulfilling Life
Managing joint pain is about adopting a lifestyle that fosters joint health and overall well-being. With an online search, you can find other ways of embracing this lifestyle. Incorporating these routines into your daily life not only promises relief from discomfort but also paves the way for a more active, fulfilling life.