3 Ways Exercise Can Support Your Joint Health

Physical exercise is the health magic bullet that benefits your body and systems in countless ways, from helping to keep your cholesterol in check to strengthening your heart. But did you know that movement is invaluable for keeping your joints in good working order?

In addition to treating joint injuries and conditions with procedures like knee replacement, shoulder arthroscopy, meniscus repair, and rotator cuff surgery, Dr. Struan Coleman provides education to patients about preventing injury and maintaining healthy joints, as these are keys to your freedom of movement and overall wellness. 

Exercise is a boon to joint health

Routine exercise is an elixir for your joints. It improves how they function, expands your range of motion, and reduces pain — all welcome shifts if you have arthritis, injury, or pain from another condition. 

Here, we give you the lowdown on the top three advantages of exercise for your joints:

1. Exercise keeps joint-loving fluids moving

Movement keeps your joints lubricated, just like a piece of machinery, except your body’s version of oil is synovial fluid. It emanates from the synovial membrane that surrounds your joint, and when you engage in physical activity, this fluid circulates more freely. 

Ditto for your blood. Exercise causes increased blood flow, which nourishes your synovial membranes and supplies them with plenty of oxygen. 

2. Physical activity impacts your weight positively

By exercising, you’re contributing either to maintaining a normal weight or losing excess pounds, which stress your joints. Losing weight reduces pain and swelling in your joints, and staying at a good weight helps prevent these problems from occurring in the first place. 

Another important point is that unwanted pounds are especially damaging to the joints in the lower half of your body, like your hips and knees, because they support so much of your body weight. 

For example, if you live with arthritis, carrying around extra weight directly contributes to joint degeneration. When bones collide against each other, it’s a recipe for pain and inflammation. 

3. Exercise protects and strengthens your joints from the inside out

Your joints are stabilized by a strong support network of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage that surround them. When these tissues are sturdy and uncompromised, they not only protect your joints, they reduce pressure on them. 

Your ligaments connect bone to bone, and your tendons attach your bone to muscle. Just as synovial fluid is like lubricating oil for your joints, strong ligaments and tendons are like stabilizing super-glue for your body that keeps everything connected securely and mobile. What’s more, stronger joints are less vulnerable to injury.  

When Dr. Coleman discusses your joint health with you, he emphasizes the fact that exercise is a critical component of joint health that you can control. He also advises you about the safest exercises for joint preservation, and which ones put you at risk for injury.

Don’t worry though, you’ve got many choices for both strength-building and aerobic activities to choose from. 

As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Coleman is your partner in joint care, whether he’s discussing how you can lower your risk for injury and improve your joint health or recommending a surgical solution for you. 

Call the office that’s most convenient to you so you can discuss your joint health with Dr. Coleman, or book an appointment online with us. 

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