Painful Joints? Get Moving!
Are you experiencing pain in your joints? That is no reason to give up your favourite summer activities: gardening, cycling, hiking, camping, playing tennis, golfing, swimming… on the contrary! Moving is one of your best allies against pain. Here are some good physical activity ideas that can help relieve your pain and allow you to enjoy a wonderful summer outdoors.
Pain in joints such as the knee, hip, shoulder, spine and hands are, in the majority of cases, due to osteoarthritis, a problem that affects one in six people in Canada.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory, chronic, and incurable condition that causes the breakdown of the cartilage and bone underneath.
Among the most common symptoms we find: joint pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints, as well as a reduced range of motion.
Osteoarthritis risk factors
- Age: osteoarthritis can occur at any age and not all seniors suffer from it;
- Being a woman : more women than men suffer from osteoarthritis;
- Excess weight : excess weight will put more strain on your joints
- Sport Injuries or trauma after an accident;
- Repetitive movements as part of a specific profession or activity: for example, high-level athletes, dancers, construction workers, etc. Repetitive pressure on particular joints can cause injury and wear.
Joint pain and excess weight
- Excess weight puts added pressure on the joints, especially in feet, knees and hips. It also increases the risk of injury.
- Body fat interferes with blood circulation throughout the body, thus reducing the arrival of nutrients in the joints and releasing substances that can increase inflammation.
- By losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight, blood circulation is improved, and there is less stress on the joints, which helps relieve pain.
5 Exercises to Help Relieve Your Aching Joints
You didn’t exercise during winter? Here are 5 low-impact activity suggestions to help get you moving again.
Good to know. Regularly performing exercises with low impact onthe joints can help relieve your pain. Indeed, moving helps increase circulation in your joints, thereby benefiting their recovery. Of course, you must respect your limits.It’s all a question of degree. Don’t over strain your joints and be careful with repetitive movements. Listen to your body. Completely resting your joints is sometimes necessary
It is important to learn how to stretch properly and carefully. It would also be wise to seek advice from a health professional or even sign up for stretching classes.
Stretching provides better joint support and improves flexibility and range of motion, which can help reduce joint stiffness and reduce the risk of injury during exercise.
Power walking helps reduce stiffness, benefits bone health, strengthens muscles, helps with flexibility and improves cardiorespiratory fitness.
Tip. It is better to avoid activities that involve jumping like running, which is harder on joints.
Don’t know how to swim? Try aquafit – pool exercises usually done in shallow water –, another beneficial activity that allows you to move while protecting your joints.
One last tip: drink water. Proper hydration helps reduce pain by promoting the elimination of toxins, which can help fight inflammation. Also, well-hydrated cartilage reduces friction between bones, thus helping you to move more easily.