Arthritis affects one in four adults in the United States, with the majority of those experiencing symptoms between ages 45 to 64. But while many consider joint pain as an issue for the elderly, the fact is anyone of any age can experience it (although it is a natural symptom after years of using our bodies).
Discomfort in the joints is commonly felt in the spine, hands, feet, knees, and hips. It can be light and short lived or uncomfortable and prolonged. No matter which end of the spectrum you fall into one thing is consistent— joint pain hurts! It can change your exercise routine, impact your day-to-day routine, and even stop you from doing basic tasks like simply cleaning the house. Fortunately, there are a few ways to work around the pain and get back to feeling comfortable in your own skin again.
Here are our tips on how you can work around joint pain, and not let it work you.
GET HOT AND COLD
It’s a common question for sprains or injuries: what’s better to apply, heat or cold? For joint pain that’s not inflamed or swollen heat works best. A heating pad relaxes the muscles and increases blood flow, which aids in joint stiffness. On the other end, ice reduces inflammation and any pain.
A good rule of thumb: To work around joint pain try heating the affected areas prior to a big walk or exercise and apply cold to them after you’re done.
Movement is medicine for the body. This is especially true of those with arthritis and stiffness because the more you move the greater strength and flexibility you will gain, which decreases overall joint pain.
Contrary to what any initial thoughts may be, when you exercise it strengthens the muscles that surround your joints, while lack of movement only contributes to greater stiffness.
It’s a domino effect: When the muscles are strong the bones are supported, and lack of muscle strength contributes to more joint stress.
Ask our personal training experts to help you work around your joint pain using range-of-motion, strengthening, or aerobic exercises.
Joints connect our body, our skeletal body to be exact. So, when there’s excess weight on them there’s bound to be some excess discomfort.
Another note: Sugar intake can increase inflammation and the joints are where we feel that usually. Reduce sugar intake to feel and look better!
Talk to your doctor to learn what’s a healthy weight for you and work around joint pain by sticking within that number.
If the joint pain is uncomfortable, before seeking out medication, try resting. Joint pain can be heightened by inflammation, but it’s nothing to worry about. A little rest resets the body before you’re back to moving around again.
Aging is a natural thing, no matter how much we try and fight it. In addition to our tips above if you’re approaching your next decade (whether that’s 30 or 80) we recommend a few other things to protect your joints: stop smoking, hydrate more often, incorporate warm-ups and cool-downs, and incorporate morning and/or evening stretches.
The Nimble Fitness Team