If you’re one of the millions of people with sore joints, exercising is probably the last thing on your mind. But guess what? Exercising and moving your joints is one of the best things you can do for many causes of joint pain, including arthritis. The key is to choose the right types of exercises for your specific joint problems.
At Spruce Health Group, our team offers custom-tailored physical therapy programs at our practices in Golden, Aurora, Thornton, Littleton, Colorado Springs, Greeley, and Boulder, Colorado, helping every patient maintain optimal joint health and function. Here are six ways a customized exercise program could improve your joint health.
#1: Strengthens muscles
Exercising your joints helps strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support them. When these components are strong, they act as a brace to stabilize your joint and prevent injury. Plus, regular exercise keeps these structures flexible, so they’re ready for action and less likely to pull or strain.
#2: Improves balance
Falls are a major cause of accidents, and even a simple thing like taking a misstep can cause a sudden increase in pressure in your joints. Exercise distributes forces more evenly, improving your balance and coordination so you can decrease your risks for these types of injuries.
#3: Lubricates joint components
Joints rely on synovial fluid, a special lubricating fluid that’s produced by the surrounding synovial membrane. When you exercise, the fluid is distributed more evenly throughout your joint, which means the joint gets the lubrication it needs to promote smooth movement and prevent painful joint friction.
#4: Maintains a healthy weight
Even a few extra pounds can significantly increase the stress and strain on weight-bearing joints, like your knees and hips. Regular exercise helps you drop excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight, decreasing joint strain.
#5: Increases bone strength
Exercise increases circulation to your joints, giving the bones and other structures the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. Simultaneously, as the joint is compressed, toxins and waste materials are flushed out of the joint, replaced by healthy nutrients when the compression is released.
#6: Improves your mood
We realize that this might not sound like a joint benefit. But when your mood is improved, minor joint issues aren’t as debilitating, and that means you’re more likely to stay active and avoid lying around on your couch. Exercise lifts your mood by increasing your body’s production of endorphins — “feel good” chemicals that help us stay positive and deal better with life’s daily stressors.
Feel better with a customized therapy program
Lots of people think physical therapy is just for people who’ve had traumatic injuries from falls or car accidents, but that’s just not the case. Physical therapy can be beneficial for anyone with joint pain or other physical problems from wear-and-tear, aging, or underlying medical conditions, including arthritis and fibromyalgia. If you’re experiencing joint pain, call Spruce Health Group or use our online form to schedule a visit and learn how we can help you.