Joint pain is a very common ailment and at most 30% of adults experience it one way or another, sending them to their local Land O Lakes chiropractor. Joint pain is usually a result of injuries in the joint itself and as well as the soft tissues surrounding it. It can lead to swelling, pain, joint stiffness and reduced range of motion.
Among the joints in the body, the knees are the most common sites for joint pain. Nevertheless, the shoulder, hip, fingers and neck can also be affected. Joint pain can result from a variety of factors including repetitive motions in the joint, direct physical injury, osteoarthritis, obesity and even poor posture.
When joint pain is felt, affected individuals usually rest the affected area to the extent of unsolicited rests leading to muscle weakness, more joint pain and reduced range of motion and stiffness. The notion that resting the affected joint is optimum is now obsolete and physicians and chiropractors now promote strengthening exercises to ease joint pain faster and more effectively.
How does strengthening the Muscles ease Joint Pain?
The joint is composed of the two bones joined together by a tendon. Around the joint are soft tissues that protect, support and allow the joint to move in its range of motion. These soft tissues include the muscles as well as the ligaments that connect the muscle to the bone.
Strengthening exercises aim at strengthening the muscles around the joint. In this way, there is reduced damaging impact on the joint because the muscles can effectively support the affected joint. This will now subsequently lead to lesser inflammation, injury and pain. While many believe the limiting movements in the affected joint is more desired for faster healing, studies have shown that strengthening exercises after the acute phase of injury may actually help preserve the motion of the joint and reduce symptoms such as pain.
Doing Strengthening Exercises to Reduce Pain
In case you have joint pains and would want to try out strengthening exercises, start off with stretching exercises to allow the muscles and other soft tissues around the joint to adapt better to exercise. This will also allow for increased flexibility and to reduce exercise-induced muscle tension. Stretching exercises won’t relieve pain directly, but it will also help prevent muscle tears, which can lead to more joint pains. Following stretching exercises, employ body workouts such as squats and leg extensions in case of knee pain. For other joints, there are other forms of body workouts that you can do to promote range of motion and building of muscle strength. These exercises will help you achieve increased muscle strength while recovering as you cannot employ high impact activities that can lead to severe pain.
Following the acute phase of joint pain such as after a week when no pain is already present, training with light weights may help prevent another onset of joint pain as it will build a long-term foundation for your muscles.
Exercise is indeed very helpful even during joint pains. Aside from lessening pain, it may help those with joint conditions (such as arthritis, etc) achieve stronger skeletal system, improved range of motion and reduce weight that can aggravate joint pain.