4 ways to reduce joint pain through exercise

If you suffer from joint pain due to arthritis or other chronic conditions, the thought of exercise may be the last thing on your mind. Discover why it could be your best way to reduce, and even prevent, joint pain.

4 ways to reduce joint pain through exercise

1. Build muscle

Muscles work as shock absorbers and prevent the joints from taking undue load. Every impact the body is subjected to is absorbed in part by the muscles. The stronger the muscle, the better it performs as a shock absorber for the joint it supports. Building muscles helps to protect your joints in the long run.

2. Increase range of motion

A good stretching regime increases the range of motion in your joints, reducing the feeling of stiffness and improving your ability to move freely. Stretching is a vital part of keeping mobile and feeling good if you suffer from joint pain.

3. Maintain a healthy weight

Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, thereby limiting the load your joints have to bear on a daily basis. The stress on your joints is directly related to the weight they have to bear, so even a relatively small reduction in body weight can reduce joint pain.

4. Improve circulation

Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and improves blood flow to the body, including your joints. Good blood flow is essential for the disposal of toxins and the oxygenation of tissue around the joint, which helps to prevent or reduce inflammation.

So, what exercise should you choose?

If you suffer from joint pain, any high-impact exercise such as running or jogging is definitely not the best form of exercise for you. Instead, choose low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking and weight training.

Focus on aerobic exercise and strength training twice a week. Start slowly and carefully, building up over time; don't overdo it. Always start with a warm up, and include a good stretching session to loosen up tight muscles. After you finish, don't skip the cool-down period, and ice particularly problematic joints to avoid swelling. Ice sore muscle and joints after exercising to avoid inflammation.

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