Joint Mobility – Exercises for Improved Movement

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

No matter how old you are, waking up with joint pain, stiffness, or swelling is probably not the way you want to start the day. Although younger individuals usually have the ability to bounce back quickly from illnesses and injuries, they too are at risk for decreased joint mobility if they are overweight, obese, or relatively sedentary. All those living with decreased joint mobility should know that there are simply exercises which can not only improve joint mobility, they can help you to lose weight. If you’ve never thought about exercise as a way to get your joint mobility back, here are some motions to consider.

Joint MobilityFirst of all, it’s important to reassure all those suffering from decreased joint mobility that exercising will not increase their pain. Although it might be awkward or tiring at first, the joint mobility exercises that are suggested here are designed to restore strength to the joints and muscles, making it once again possible to move around freely without pain killers. These joint mobility exercises are gentle and can be performed as slowly and as few times as the patient requires to get into a regular routine. Joint mobility exercises can be used to target any joint experiencing pain or stiffness.

Shoulders and arms are two areas of the body that are most likely to experience limited joint mobility. If you’ve noticed stiffness, aching, pain, or swelling in these areas, there are easy joint mobility exercises that can be performed while sitting at your kitchen table or on the edge of your bed in the morning. Start these joint mobility exercises by sitting or standing, and slowly bringing your finger tips up to meet your shoulders (if you can’t meet your shoulders, just bring your arms up as far as you can). While touching your shoulders, gently move your elbows in a clockwise motion for ten seconds, and then repeat in a counter clockwise motion.

Another area of the body that can usually benefit from joint mobility exercises is the ankle. While you are sitting in a comfortable chair, or standing in an area where you can hold onto a railing or back of a chair, start the joint mobility exercise by lifting one foot slightly up off of the ground and rotating the foot around in a counter clockwise motion for thirty seconds. If you have to take a break in the middle of this joint mobility exercise, that’s perfectly fine. Complete this joint mobility exercise by rotating the same foot counterclockwise and repeating with the other foot.

 

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**This is a subjective assessment based on the strength of the available information and our estimation of efficacy.

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