We all know exercise is good for us. It allows us to feel younger, sleep better, and control our weight. Unfortunately joint pain as we age can leave you asking “I want to exercise, but how can I with arthritis pain?”
Why Functional Exercise Fights Joint Pain
Joint pain can make everyday activities difficult. This may tempt you to sit still, but the throbbing, aches, and hurting can actually be reduced by movement. Lack of movement weakens supportive muscle and tissue surrounding your joints. As these weaken, stress is created on the joint. This stress causes more pain.
In addition, movement and exercise triggers a response by the synovial membranes to produce more synovial fluid. This oil-like substance keeps joints healthy through lubrication. Synovial fluid keeps the cartilage, the cushion between joints, from drying out so that they aren’t as achy. I tell my patients to imagine a raisin – all dried up and no moisture. That’s what cartilage looks like in people who don’t exercise. Now imagine a juicy plum, that’s your cartilage when you move. Age is not the only deciding factor to having younger joints – movement is. As a rehab therapist, I’ve seen 40 year olds walk older than 90 year olds – all due to lack of movement. As a grandmother to a 16, 11 and 1 year old, I know exercise keeps you moving.
How Walking and Strengthening Exercise Decreases Joint Pain
Even though painful and stiff joints make the thought of walking or enjoying moderate exercise seem impossible, these activities ease joint pain. Your first thought may be that exercise will only aggravate the joints that are already painful. In reality, a lack of walking and strengthening exercise will lead to more pain and stiffness. Functional Exercise makes you feel younger by allowing you to postpone or even eliminate surgical relief. As the strength builds and pain lessons, you’ll find you can once again do many activities you had removed from your life due to pain. You’ll end up looking and feeling much younger!