If you suffer from joint pain or an autoimmune condition that locks your joints, the idea of exercise can be less than appealing. In fact, the suggestion that you should start exercising might make your eyes roll. If you’re already in pain, how the heck are you supposed to start moving around?
But even though it feels like exercise is a far-fetched idea, or the thought of stepping into a gym or exercise class seems daunting, there are major benefits to be had—especially for people with all kinds of joint pain. Exercise can help take pressure off the joints, offering protection and support while easing pain, stiffness, and even swelling.
Exercising with joint pain, however, does require some special attention. So, if using this natural remedy for pain and mobility piques your interest, here’s how to do it.
- Work with a specialist. If you don’t know how to safely perform movements, you are at high risk for injury. Working with a physiatrist, physical therapist, or certified personal trainer that has experience working people inflammatory conditions is highly recommended.
- Pay attention to your body. If you typically experience stiffness and pain in the mornings, don’t schedule workouts during this period. Instead, do it when symptoms are calmer and you’re less likely to be inhibited by pain and inflammation. If the pain and inflammation are still bothering you when its time to work out, make some changes to accommodate. This can involve skipping weight training and participating in a water exercise class.
- Warm up. Getting the blood flowing before a workout can help loosen joints and muscles to prevent injury. Walking for a few minutes while slowly moving your arms, stretching them in various positions, can help get you ready.
- Stay within your range. Over time, your range of motion should improve. It’s important, however, to go slow. If you’re attempting a movement and it begins to hurt, stop doing it. Staying in a comfortable range of motion can prevent injury.
With commitment and consistency, a strength training exercise program can help reduce the pain, inflammation, and stiffness associated with joint pain.