Updated: May 21, 2020
Over 4 million people in the country suffer from some sort of join pain in the form of arthritis, trauma, degenerative joint disease and inflammatory chronic disease. The pain severity from these conditions may vary as they are specified as asymptomatic, mild, moderate or severe. No matter the characteristic of pain, quality of life and comfort may be affected.
For optimal function, it is best to promote holistic management of joint pain and dis-ease such as arthritis. Holistic management of arthritis and like joint discomfort ensures that the full mind, body and soul are taken into account when creating a health plan. We encourage the use of holistic and non-invasive management because they may contribute to long term healing results. Stretching and low aerobic activity are great examples of this type of management and prove to be very beneficial. These activities potentiate increased flexibility, improved posture, enhanced movement range, improved strength, and recovered blood circulation to the muscles.
Stretching to Better Joint Health
In specific understanding of this pain, careful stretching has proven to be very useful in the prevention and management of arthritic symptoms. They contribute by strengthening and stabilizing the tendons and muscle around the affected joint. The best stretches recommended by holistic sciences, osteopathic medicine and arthritis management organizations are the ones that are specifically geared toward preventing joint stiffness, reducing inflammation, increasing mobility and relieving pain. Check out the stretches and instructional guide below to get started on better joint health.
Straight Leg Raise (lying)
Lay flat on the ground (or bed) and bend one leg at the knee while holding the other straight. Lift the straight leg off the surface and hold for 5 seconds, then lower it down and repeat 10-15 times and then do the same for the opposite leg. Do these exercises twice a day, during the morning and evening.
Start by finding a higher surface such as a step, chair or a wooden block. Then place your foot on that surface, lean forward with your chest going towards your knee and a push your heel off the ground until you are standing on your tippy toes. You would hold this for 5 to 10 seconds and then you would repeat as tolerated.
Holding a chair, squat until the knees pass the feet and then return to standing. Do this very slowly and repeat 10 times. With each squat try to progress lower while keeping the back erect.
Standing Foot Grab
Find a steady surface such as a chair or a wall and use it as support. Then grab one of your ankles with one hand and pull it towards your buttocks. Hold this for 5 seconds or as long as tolerated. Repeat this with each alternating leg three to four times daily.
Straight Leg Raise (sitting)
The concept is similar to the laying reg raises, except in a chair. Sit in chair with legs at a 90 degree angle. then straighten out one leg and hold for 5-10 seconds. Alternate legs and repeat 5-10 times for each leg or as tolerated.
Exercise Recommendations for Arthritis
In addition to the stretches mentioned above, it is also important to do low-impact aerobic activities that work to reduce the stress on the joints and protect the articular cartilage. These actives include (but are not limited to) : brisk walking, cycling on low gear, swimming, water aerobics, light gardening, low to moderate intensity group exercise classes, and dancing.
For continued well rounded health benefits, do this each week:
150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like cycling slowly or brisk walking
75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, like cycling faster or jogging and dancing. Another Or you may do a combination of both. A rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.
Consistency is key, so find a regimen that your body responds too positively and stick to it for maximum results. Work towards healthy outcomes to keep the cycles of mentality, spirituality and physicality intact and in working order and you will be well on your way to better health.