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Exercising with Joint Pain

Want to exercise, but your joint pain is too intense? We hear this all the time. Did you know that movement is the best thing you can do for your joints? The problem we find is that people with joint pain are doing the wrong types of movement. Regardless of your pain, arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, etc. There are modifications you can make to improve your movement with exercise. Joints become stiff and sore when our bodies are idle for long durations, like sleeping. Our joints secrete a thin layer of fluid within the cartilage of joints called synovial fluid. When we move, the synovial fluid is squeezed out of the cartilage and allows the joint to glide with minimal friction. This is why we hurt in the morning, but we feel better after walking around a bit. This fluid is only produced and excreted with movement! Movement and exercise play a vital role in decreasing joint pain. But how do we exercise and not aggravate the pain?

Increase Your Range Of Motion:

A lot of joint pain can come from imbalanced muscles around your joints. When you do not stretch regularly, your muscles will pull on your joints, decreasing your functional range of motion and increasing postural imbalances. Once you establish postural imbalances, your body is in a chronic war with gravity. You can incorporate stretching into your day with yoga, a foam roller, or stretching on the floor during your favorite Netflix series! There are a couple of essential things to remember when stretching. Stretch within your comfort zone. Stretching should never be painful. When you stretch into a painful place, your body senses danger and tightens up. When this happens, you are just playing a game of tug of war with your body, and no one will win. Tip #2 never stretch a cold muscle. It is essential to warm up the body before stretching. You can do this by taking a short walk, taking a hot shower, or making gentle movements. No matter how you do it, stretching daily is guaranteed to decrease your joint pain.

Strength Training:

Strengthening those joints is an essential part of decreasing your joint pain. When your muscles are strong, they support and protect your joints. Not all strengthening exercises are great for joint pain. Some exercises can increase your pain. It is crucial to always listen to your body. If it does not feel right, chances are… it's not! Some things to check when you are having pain when strengthening. The correct form of your exercise is vital for your joints and injury prevention. In squatting, for example, many people squat with their knees going forward over their toes instead of their butt going backward. Wonder if you are doing this correctly? Stand up and drop into a squat. Can you easily wiggle your toes? If not, shift your weight into your heels. When your knees pass your toes, it adds significant pressure to your joints. If your joints are still hurting when doing squats, there are ways to work the same muscles without bending or grinding your joints. There are many exercises you can do while standing on one leg. These exercises are beneficial for balance and strengthening the small muscles around your joints. Isometric exercises are also a great way to build strength around your achy joints. Isometric exercises improve strength via static contractions. Some exercises include wall sit, planking, and glute squeezes.

Improve your Posture:

Exercises that improve your posture are sure to relieve your joint pain. When our posture is imbalanced, we are constantly fighting gravity. Poor posture can decrease the range of motion and wear and tear at your joints with all activities of daily living. Posture exercises include:

  • Stretching your chest.

  • Strengthening your back.

  • Stretching your hip flexors.

  • Strengthening your core and glutes.

  • Stretching and strengthening your hamstrings.

These are the chronic imbalances we see in most chronic pain patients.

Aquatic Therapy:

Water exercise and water walking are great ways to combat joint pain. Water decreases gravity's effects on your body, making movement much lighter and less painful. Just be cautious; you will feel so great in the water people tend to overdo it! Go light at first and see how your body reacts.

It seems like a catch-22 to move more to have less pain; however, it is true. Exercise is the best way to alleviate your chronic, achy joints.

To make your exercise successful, make it low impact, warm up the muscles, use the appropriate form, and improve your posture. If you can do this, you will be able to build a successful plan for yourself and your joints. It may take working with a professional for some time to find the right movements for your body. Wellness 360 provides multiple ways to assist you in your journey to less pain and improved motion. We offer one-on-one physical therapy, wellness sessions, and massage therapy. To find out more, check us out at


360 Fitness Group Class Now at Wellness 360


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