It Hurts to Move: Joint Pain
Written by: Emma Anius
There are several forms of arthritis varying from bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Some worse than others but they all have the same outcome: pain and discomfort.
The direct cause of arthritis is hard to pin point because there are several factors that often contribute to an individual developing this form of joint pain. Although there are some factors you are able to control and there are others that you have no control over.
Age is one of the factors to which we have no control over, as you age the cartilage becomes increasingly brittle and has less of a capacity to repair itself, this makes you more likely to develop arthritis. A previous injury is also another factor than can contribute to the cause of arthritis, this is because joint damage can cause irregularities in the normal smooth joint surface, eventually leading to arthritis, suffering from a joint infection or having multiple episodes of gout can also lead to the development of arthritis.
Keeping your weight down is one way to help prevent arthritis from happening. The load that the joint has to support is partly responsible for any damage that may occur to the joint, especially in the areas such as the hips and knees. Studies have shown that simply walking across level ground puts up to one-and-a-half times your body weight on your knees and on un-level ground it is a lot worse.
Each knee bears two to three times your body weight when you go up and down stairs, and four to five times your body weight when you squat to tie a shoelace or pick something up off the floor.
Fortunately there is something you can do to help keep the weight off, and help with the pain; starting an exercise regime would help you combat the effect that weight gain has on the body. Firstly, it helps keep the excess weight off which limits the chances of developing osteoarthritis, exercise also helps strengthen your thigh muscles which has been shown to help with load bearing of the knee.
As mentioned before exercising can help limit the chances of developing arthritis and it is also essential for those that have arthritis. Exercise increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. When stiff and painful joints are already giving you trouble you don’t want to participate in any form of exercise due to the discomfort you experience and the fear of aggravating your joint. This is not the case, moderate exercise can actually ease your discomfort, and lack of exercise can make your joints even more stiff and painful. Keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining support for your bones. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints. When arthritis threatens to immobilize you, exercise keeps you moving.
Looking after you body is the key to healthy living
If you have no time to exercise or don’t know where to begin:
Adductor lift x 10, push-ups x 10, tricep dips x 10, sit ups x 10, knee lifts x 10
Adductor lift x 20, decline push-ups x 20, tricep dips x 15, sit ups x 30, knee lifts x 20
- For help with the exercises go to www.facebook.com/cyanfitness and view the photos or come down to the Aquatics Centre Monday and Wednesday for the ‘Ultimate Carnival Workout’
Note: Emma Anius is a Personal Trainer for Cyan Fitness promoting a ‘healthy life and a better you.’