Joint pain sucks! It interferes with my sleep and bugs me during the day. I've backed off on my Zumba class because the day after a class was when I first had an escalation of joint pain. I've got osteoarthritis, so joint pain is nothing new to me. I've had two knee replacements and have carpal tunnel syndrome.
You know what makes joint pain better? Exercise! No kidding. And, not just for me. Here's why:
I've written before about the release of serotonin in the brain during exercise. That reduces pain.
But, in addition, exercise, when done properly, gets joint fluids to better lubricate the bone surfaces and cartilage. Every normal joint has what's called a 'joint space'. Normal joints have a good amount of joint space so that there is a 'cushion' when you use that joint, especially with higher impact activity. To get the lubricants moving around, you need activity, movement - that's exercise. Plus, activity warms up tendons (which are often the real cause of what people think is joint or bone pain) and muscles. Strong tendons and muscles protect joints.
Strong ligaments around the knee keep the knee from any lateral (sideways) movement. Knees are NOT designed for lateral movement. Lateral movement damages the joint - the bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles. Just ask a football player.
Some people have a hereditary predisposition to the loss of joint space and osteoarthritis (see me raising my hand?) and other people have jobs or hobbies (say, racquetball - that's me raising my hand again) that add further wear and tear on the joints causing more osteoarthritis. Being overweight also adds to the wear and tear (darn, raising my hand again).
So, osteoarthritis sucks. Joints hurt. Sometimes it's worse with damp, cold weather. Sometimes it's worse just cuz.
What makes it better is simple exercises, properly performed. Kinda' hard to mess up walking, isn't it? I've never particularly found relief with stretching, but many people swear by yoga and tai chi.
Here's my best advice for pain. Take some Tylenol (or whatever pain reliever you take) about 30-60 minutes before you tie on your shoes and go for a walk. It really does help. Have I said this before? Let me know if I'm repeating myself.........
Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.
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