Joint Pain and Stiffness: What is it?

This uncomfortable and painful ailment is caused by an inflammation of the lining of the joint (the ‘Synovium’). The inflamed Synovium results in swelling around the joint, stiffness, pain, a sensation of warmth and a limited range of motion. While joint pain and stiffness is one of the key symptoms of arthritis, it may also be caused by hormonal imbalances in women in their pre-menopausal stage, joint trauma and bone diseases, and some types of cancer. The idea of exercising to alleviate the symptoms of joint pain and stiffness might seem like too much work, especially when doing simple, routine motions is quite arduous in itself! But once you make the effort and get started, you will agree that this method not only comes without a fee and side effects, it is also a powerful way to treat those achy joints! 

Easy Exercises for Joint Pain: Let’s Get Started!

If you’re envisioning demanding hour long workouts five days a week, you can put a stop to those frightening thoughts right there! According to Arthritis Today (Journal of the Arthritis Foundation of Atlanta), 20 minutes of exercise thrice a week is adequate for alleviating the pain associated with swollen, stiff joints.

Joint Pain Exercise #1: Walk it Off!

According to a report published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, walking can have the same pain reducing effect on knee joint pain as medications such as naproxen and ibuprofen! Now that’s a real attention grabber isn’t it!  Start off slowly with 10 minute walks at least 3 days a week. As your muscles get stronger and the walking begins to take away the pressure from your joints, you can alter your pace, distance and time duration as well.

Joint Pain Exercise #2: Take the Cycling Indoors!

Stationary cycles are a great exercise for individuals who have difficulty balancing due to joint pain and stiffness. Don’t start off with a bang on your first day! Take it slow with 5 minute cycling sessions at least thrice a week in the beginning. You can build up your pace and time duration as the pain and discomfort decreases. Before you begin, do remember to adjust the height of the seat so that when the cycle pedal is at its lowest point, your knee is straight.

Joint Pain Exercise #3: Warm Water Wonder!

Whether it’s relaxing in a warm water bath, taking some time off in a Jacuzzi or jumping into a swimming pool, you have to admit there’s just something so alluring about being in water! And guess what, you can alleviate your joint pain by indulging in some fun water exercises! Water is great at providing extra support to your body and reducing the pressure off your joints. The University of Washington Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine suggests that warm water (83-90 degrees Fahrenheit) is optimum for joint pain alleviation. You can opt for water aerobics, water walking, water jogging or swimming depending upon the intensity and severity of your joint pain!

Joint Pain Exercise #4: Get your Yoga On!

Yoga is a great way to alleviate joint pain and stiffness. You can practice yoga at home with the help of yoga DVDs, but it would be better to sign up for a yoga class so that the instructor can supervise your workout and ensure that you are not putting excess pressure on your joints. Beginner yoga classes feature simple, gentle exercises and movements which are more suited to alleviating joint pain. However, do inform your yoga instructor about your condition before the session begins so that suitable variations can be suggested for you!

Take Control of your Joint Pain!

Relying on medications is all very well, but opting for exercise is an excellent way to combat joint pain and stiffness in a natural, side effect free way. Apart from reducing the pain and discomfort, exercise will help you gain control of your life, build up your muscle strength and enhance your mobility! Do consult your doctor before you start practicing any exercises.