Joint-Friendly Exercises

Monday, 23. March 2020

Joint-Friendly Exercises

Our joints are essential for mobility. When you have joint problems, it can quickly become hard to move around. High impact movements are very bad for the joints and can cause significant paint. Nevertheless, even if you have joint pain, modifying the way you work out can really help.

Common Issues

The human body has around 140 joints, the best known being the elbows, ankles, wrists, hips, knees, shoulders or the spine. For most people, the joints work fine until they are damaged. The most well-known joint diseases are rheumatism and osteoarthritis, but physical stress caused by too much or incorrectly performed exercise can also damage our joints. The good news: you can still work out if you do so carefully.

Cartilage: Grease for the Joints

Articular cartilage enables us to move. This cartilage is like a sponge filled with water. When the joint is stressed, it presses on the cartilage and fluid enters the joint space. This keeps the joint lubricated. However, the longer the cartilage stays in one position, the pressure on it, which can damage it.

Cartilage Damage

Our cartilage gets stressed and breaks down if it is regularly exposed to hard, sudden, physical stress. Sports in which the joint remains in one position for too long are also bad for the joints.

Unfortunately, the joints themselves cannot be exercised. However, exercising the surrounding muscles does have a positive effect on the joints, as the muscles take pressure off of them.

Sports that are Easy on the Joints

If you already have joint damage, you should look into low-impact sports. The best example of this is swimming. Your body is not exposed to any high impact and your body weight is reduced in water, which further relieves the joints. Aqua gymnastics are also very good for people have joint issues or are overweight as the resistance of the water makes the exercises strenuous without putting much pressure on the joints.

There are other sports you can do on land that are gentle on the joints. Exercises like:

  • Cycling
  • Aerobic exercises
  • Exercises with a Theraband

To determine which sport you should do, you should have your joints medically examined to make sure you choose a sport that does not stress this joint. If you have shoulder pain, it wouldn't be a good idea to play tennis, for example.

With medical support, you can also find out whether joint damage is really responsible for the pain. Pain can also result from incorrect technique or an unstable joint.

Modify the Sports You Do

If you're passionate about a sport and want to enjoy it through the pain, you can always modify it. You can walk instead of jog if you have knee problems, or switch from asphalt roads to dirt trails or mead walking.

Listen to Your Body

The most important thing in the long term is that we listen to our bodies. Pain is always a sign that something is not good. Perhaps the strain is too much or we've hurt ourselves. It is important that you take painful joints seriously and stop or do something differently instead of ignoring them. There are plenty of alternative methods to exercise that will keep you healthy and strong.