If you’re struggling with joint pain, you may feel like resting and avoiding physical activity is your best option. But, while you should avoid high-impact activities, as well as motions that cause pain, it’s important to keep moving when you have joint pain. Physical activity can increase blood flow to the painful joint, which helps prevent stiffness while supporting your body’s healing process.
Exercises that can help with joint pain include:
Swimming and Water Aerobics
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that’s ideal for patients with joint pain. In water, you can gently move your joints through a complete range of motion. This can help you overcome joint stiffness while reaping the benefits of exercise for pain: a dose of mood-boosting endorphins, increased circulation, and strengthened muscles.
Walking is possibly the most accessible form of physical activity. You don’t need any equipment, you can simply walk around your neighborhood for a low-impact workout. Walking regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight, which translates to less impact on your joints with each step. Additionally, walking can support your cardiovascular health, which is essential for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, as they’re at a heightened risk of developing heart disease.
Yoga includes a variety of flexibility-enhancing poses that can improve your joints’ function and range of motion. Additionally, given that yoga is low-impact and stresses the importance of awareness, balance, and relaxation, it’s often an ideal exercise for patients who struggle with more intense forms of physical activity.
Strong muscles can help take the strain off of your joints. So, strength training with free weights, resistance bands, and weight machines, for example, can help patients ease joint pain. Just make sure to be careful during strength training and only take on an amount of weight that you can safely handle.
If you’re suffering from chronic joint pain, schedule an appointment at Suncoast Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine to learn about your treatment options.