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Painful joints? Get moving!

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Are you experiencing pain in your joints? That is no reason to give up your favourite summer activities: gardening, cycling, hiking, camping, playing tennis, golfing, swimming… on the contrary! Moving is one of your best allies against pain. Here are some good physical activity ideas that can help relieve your pain and allow you to enjoy a wonderful summer outdoors.

Joint Pain in Knees, Hips, Shoulders…

… as well as in the spine and hands are, for the most part, due to osteoarthritis, a problem that affects one in six people in Canada. [USA version: … 12% of adults over 25 in the United States]

Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory, chronic and incurable condition that causes the breakdown of cartilage and the bones underneath.

Among the most common symptoms: pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints, as well as reduced range of motion.

Risk factors include:

  • age: osteoarthritis can occur at any age and not all seniors suffer from it;
  • being a woman : more women than men suffer from osteoarthritis;
  • excess weight :
  • sports injuries or trauma after an accident;
  • repetitive movements as part of a specific profession or activity: for example, high-level athletes, dancers, construction workers, etc. Repetitive pressure on particular joints can cause injury and wear.
According to the Arthritis Society which relies on recent studies, osteoarthritis, once considered a degenerative or wear-and-tear problem “rather results from the body’s inability to repair damaged joint tissues”.

Excess Weight Impact

  • Excess weight puts added pressure on the joints, especially in feet, knees and hips. It also increases the risk of injury.
  • Body fat interferes with blood circulation throughout the body, thus reducing the arrival of nutrients in the joints and releasing substances that can increase inflammation.
  • By losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight, blood circulation is improved, and there is less stress on the joints, which helps relieve pain.

5 Springtime Exercises

to Relieve Your Joints

You didn’t exercise during winter? Here are 5 low-impact activity suggestions to help get you moving again.

Good to know. Regularly performing exercises with low impact onthe joints can help relieve your pain. Indeed, moving helps increase circulation in your joints, thereby benefiting their recovery. Of course, you must respect your limits.It’s all a question of degree. Don’t over strain your joints and be careful with repetitive movements. Listen to your body. Completely resting your joints is sometimes necessary

Stretching exercises are paramount. It’s the basics. Always arrange for a stretching session before you start any physical activity.
It is important to learn how to stretch properly and carefully. It would also be wise to seek advice from a health professional or even sign up for stretching classes.
Stretching provides better joint support and improves flexibility and range of motion, which can help reduce joint stiffness and reduce the risk of injury during exercise.

This is an excellent way to get back to physical activity while enjoying springtime wonders and the warm sunlight.
Power walking helps reduce stiffness, benefits bone health, strengthens muscles, helps with flexibility and improves cardiorespiratory fitness.
Tip. It is better to avoid activities that involve jumping like running, which is harder on joints.

Swimming is the ultimate physical activity for people with joint pain. Why? Because water supports the weight of the body and swimming stretches muscles without straining joints.
Don’t know how to swim? Try aquafit – pool exercises usually done in shallow water –, another beneficial activity that allows you to move while protecting your joints.

What a joy it is to ride a bike! Do something pleasant and useful by practising this cardiorespiratory activity.
Pedalling will improve your endurance and strengthen your muscles, which will help protect your joints and reduce pain.

Growing flowers, fruits and vegetables is an exciting hobby. But did you know that gardening, including mowing the lawn, is also a cardiorespiratory exercise?
Raking leaves, loosening the soil, sowing, planting, weeding, trimming hedges, etc. all that improves your strength, stamina and flexibility. Remember to properly stretch before you start and go at your own pace.
One last tip: drink water. Proper hydration helps reduce pain by promoting the elimination of toxins, which can help fight inflammation. Also, well-hydrated cartilage reduces friction between bones, thus helping you to move more easily.

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