When it comes to times of colder weather, our joints tend to feel a lot achier and stiffer. Joint pain debilitates millions of people annually and can play a significant role in your ability to perform normal everyday tasks. If you understand the mechanics of your joints a little bit, then there is a lot that you can do to get your body moving faster and pain-free.
Our joints rely on the ability to move properly, have adequate muscle support and to be well lubricated. When any of these points suffer, increased pressure is created in the joint causing excessive rubbing of the cartilage together. This can lead to a progressive wear down of the cartilage in the joints and arthritis. However, those suffering with arthritis can greatly benefit from improved joint function and mobility. A regular check up from a physical therapist can make the difference in joint health for the long-term.
Use these 3 tips to beat joint pain
- Improve your joint mobility. Whether it is your knee, your fingers or your shoulders, make sure that your joints can move freely. Many people experience joint pain when their joints are simply tight. The muscles and tissues around the joint will become tighter, the less that they are used. In addition, as we age, our tissues become more inelastic. Therefore, a regular stretching routine can go a long way to feeling your best. If you want to know the best types of stretches to handle your joint pain, speak to one of our physical therapists today.
- Improve blood and joint fluid flow. A squeaky wheel needs some grease, so why don’t you improve the lubrication of your joints? Massage your muscles and tissues around the joint and above it. This will help blood flow and joint fluid flow to the joint. For example, with knee pain, take the time to massage your thigh, especially the inner and back of the thigh. This helps blood flow to the knee. Furthermore, by gently moving the patella (kneecap) up and down and side to side, you can improve joint fluid flow.
- Reduce your intake of inflammatory foods and drinks. You are what you eat and many processed or high fat foods cause inflammatory reactions in the body. To help you feel your best, limit the intake of high fat and processed foods as well as alcohol. Focus on natural foods, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Increase your intake of water to help your tissues become better lubricated and hydrated.
How physical therapy relieves joint pain for the long-term
Physical therapists are medical experts that have the unique skill of analyzing body motion and function. Think of us like the mechanics for your body. When your body hurts, it is because it is not moving properly. An expert physical therapist can determine the limitations of your joint movement and then provide a comprehensive plan that will restore the movement and function of your joint to the best of its ability. Through gentle hands on techniques, including massage, a physical therapist can improve the blood flow and joint fluid flow to the joint.
If you find that your joints aren’t moving like they used to and pain is creeping into your day, then take the time to contact Willow Physical Therapy. Speak to one of our physical therapists to discover what is causing your pain and the natural ways that you can alleviate pain for the long-term.