Tips for Exercising with Arthritis and Sore Joints


Arthritis requires the sufferer to exercise regularly to prevent further worsening of the condition. But bringing oneself to the exercise zone could be a daunting task as there is too much pain from the sore joints to start with. But there is no need to feel hapless as there is always a way out. In fact, there are exercise classes designed specifically for people suffering from arthritis.

In these classes you learn precise techniques that will help you cope up with your individual condition. Let’s take a look at some of the workout tips for those of you with arthritis and sore joints:

Warm Up Well

Never skip warm-up exercises. Jumping directly into workout without first warming up the muscles will increase joint pain. Warming makes the stiff muscles and tendons relax and get flexible for the upcoming exercises. Warming up simply means light movement, example an easy walk to get the blood flowing for the upcoming task at hand.

Use a Foam Roller

Fascia is the elastic, web-like matrix of fibrous connective tissues which support, bind, or separates your other tissues, joints or organs. Ideally, it acts like a cushion for your joints and absorbs the impact and shocks during exercise. When this fascia becomes dry and brittle, joint pain worsens. This phenomenon aggravates with age. For better cushioning of fascia, it needs to get more hydrated. Gentle compression made with soft foam roller rehydrates the fascia via cell stimulation thus helping fluid channelize back into that tissue. Even when not working out, gentle compressions thrice a week reduces joint pain by 50 percent.

Alternate Body Exercises

Usually, in a normal workout, bigger muscles work first and then the smaller ones move. This is done as the smaller muscles stabilize and provide support to the larger ones. Bouncing back and forth between lower and upper body exercises brings relief to the joints by offering them a longer break in between. When weight training, for instance, alternating between arm and leg exercises avoids overburdening one joint or body part within your exercise routine.

Shift Your Weight

Doing exercises in a particular way can overburden your knees, especially when doing squats or lunges. There is an easy way to bring down the discomfort: Shifting the weight slightly back on to the heels, as against the balls of the feet will help reduce strain on the kneecaps and quadriceps making the moves very comfortable. To check if you are doing it correctly, see to it that you wiggle your toes off the floor when your weight is on your heels. You also secure your backside faster, since pushing the weight on your heels stimulates your glutes.

Modify Your Range of Motion

Along with shifting your weight, limiting the range of motion also eases joint pain. This acts on both upper and lower body exercises like chest presses, as also squats and lunges. Restrict your knees from bending below 90 degrees, because this surges the compressive force impact on the joint surfaces. To eliminate or lessen the risk of shoulder pain, circumvent overhead movements like overhead presses, and toughen shoulders by placing your palms up while doing moves like lateral raises. This tends to open up the shoulder joint and sanctions more space and less possibility of shoulder impingement.

Remember that just like non-usage of machinery can lead to the rusting of its parts and in the same way, no movement or very less of it can lead the joints to their malfunctioning. So don’t ignore your condition citing the reason such as pain, but work towards minimizing it.