Joint pain is a discomfort (pain) that you experience in your joints, which are where two bones connect with each other for example: wrists, knees, hips, shoulders, fingers, ankles and toes. Do you notice how many joints you have in your body? Now try to think what is should be like for someone who lives and exercise with joint pain. It’s not easy and many exercise can hurt the person in said joints or even a day to two afterwards. It can even be difficult for someone who suffer from some cause of joint pain, to get out from their car the day after they have exercised due to pain in their knees.
Causes of joint pain
There’s a lot of causes with regards to joint pain. The following information is from Mayoclinic.
- Adult Still’s disease
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to limited blood flow)
- Bone cancer
- Broken bone
- Bursitis (joint inflammation)
- Complex regional pain syndrome (chronic pain due to a dysfunctional nervous system)
- Gonococcal arthritis
- Gout (arthritis related to excess uric acid)
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (formerly known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis)
- Lyme disease
- Osteoarthritis (disease causing the breakdown of joints)
- Osteomyelitis (a bone infection)
- Paget’s disease of bone
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Rheumatic fever
- Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
- Sarcoidosis (collections of inflammatory cells in the body)
- Septic arthritis
Exercising with joint pain
Did you know that exercise reduce pain in the joints? When I do not exercise for more than a week, the pain in my joints become unbearable but when I do exercise, the pain isn’t totally gone but is more bearable. I know that the thought of exercising with pain in your joints, sounds daunting but it actually helps and if you work with a personal trainer like me, they will be able to program your workouts accordingly. I think this is why I am able to work with elderly people because I know what the sore joints are about and people above the age of 60 who experience joint pain, is a lot.
Exercising with joint pain is possible. If you can’t afford a personal trainer, then my best advice is to do a lot of research and test the exercises accordingly because what is right for someone else, might hurt your joints or not.
I find that less repetitions of of a specific exercise is better but do not choose to do nothing. Walking is better than running although there might be others who can run. Swimming is the best issue because there’s no pressure on the joints whatsoever. So doing squats in a pool might not have the same effect as doing them outside the pool but it will still get your heart rate up, which are good for cardiovascular fitness. Cycling at a lower level of difficulty, is also a good option but rowing might hurt the shoulders for some people.
Another option is chair exercises along with resistance bands instead of weight machines and dumbbells. There’s also a lot of exercises you can do on the ground for many of the muscle groups instead of standing or jumping. Pilates is a great option for people with joint pain as well.
Keep in mind
When you exercise, find exercises that helps with the following:
- Range of motion: These exercises helps you move the joints properly and they might include things like rolling your shoulders back and forth or by doing a hip mobility routine;
- Strengthening exercises as discussed previously with regards to using resistance bands, your own body weight and chair exercises.
- Aerobic exercises which are swimming, walking instead of running, low intensity cycling.
- Stretching helps a lot with stiff joints. Sometimes a stretching routine is better on the days where you just don’t feel like it, due to a lot of pain in your joints.
- Weather: If it’s Winter, choose to exercise later in the day when it’s warmer. People with sore joints, tend to be more sore in the colder months.
Listen, there are days where the joints are too sore to move or where you feel that you just can’t do any exercises today. That’s okay but just don’t let that excuse become the normal. The next day, do some walking. Just keep on doing something that moves the body.
Also know that there are people out there who do understand and that you do not need to walk this journey alone. There are medicines for joint pain as well and get someone who understand what you are going through, who can be a support buddy to you. Maybe that person can even motivate you by doing a daily walk with you? You are not alone in this and make sure that your rock is Jesus Christ. His strength will get you through every day, that you fight the pain.