Exercising the Right Way with Joint Pain
By Donna Stark
My daughter has had nine knee surgeries. She knows what joint pain feels like. She also knows how hard it is to stay fit while the body is hurting beyond measure. I know itâ€™s difficult because I saw her go through it. Facing that uphill battle every day, when all she wanted to do was to work out â€¦ or simply just move some days â€¦ and all that her body wanted to do was resist and scream out in pain. Do you find yourself in this position? Is your body telling you â€œNo!â€ while your mind is telling you the exact opposite? Itâ€™s certainly a true battle of wills, but what you need to remember is that exercise is critical for your body to get better. Not taking care of yourself can lead to more issues down the road and could even possibly make your existing pain much worse.
Exercising with Joint Pain
Itâ€™s important to keep moving every day, but itâ€™s more important to do so correctly. If you are experiencing chronic joint pain, or joint pain caused by an injury, consider a few of these tips before you start your next workout.
- Stretch - Typically, the body doesnâ€™t like to be surprised, so warm it up properly and give it enough time so it can acclimate to the workout that is soon coming its way. In addition to increasing the bodyâ€™s range of motion and flexibility, stretching also helps to build strength and reduce the risk of more injury. Along with stretching, applying heat to your joints before a workout may help as well to stave off pain.
- Low-impact exercises - Pushing yourself too hard could ultimately lead to pain, or worse, re-injury. Itâ€™s important to listen to your body and understand your limitations, even if they donâ€™t match up with your goals. Low-impact workouts, such as swimming and walking, put far less strain on your joints and are also easy on joint pain.
- Easy does it - Remember to go slowly when working out. Allowing your body to exercise at a healthy pace will help you avoid any unnecessary stress or strain on your joints. But no matter what, donâ€™t forget to listen to what your body is saying. And if itâ€™s screaming, take a break or stop altogether.
- Stretch again - When youâ€™re tired and hungry, itâ€™s easy to end your workout and just go home, but if you donâ€™t give your body the proper cool down, it could lead to bigger problems down the road. So stretch again and ice any joints that may be swollen.
Conquering that Uphill Battle
Donâ€™t be intimidated by that uphill battle you are facing. Sure, your pain may add some extra time to you reaching your goals, but itâ€™s better to reach them in a healthy state than to not reach them at all. So listen to your body, but donâ€™t give up! Thereâ€™s a whole lot of moving that needs to be done still.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lakewood, Colo.