How Movement Lubricates and Heals Sore Joints

Move your body from hurting to healing. Mother’s wisdom applies to all ages: “Go outside and play.” The older we get, the less we move, and the more “-itis” illnesses we get. Any correlation? Yes. The epidemic of “sitting diseases” can be cured by one word: “MOVE!” Additionally, movement can also be the answer to how to heal sore joints and keep your body young.

3 Ways Moving Helps Sore Joints

  1. Providing nourishing blood flow to your tissues. The more blood flow, the more healing nutrients get into those hurting tissues.
  2. Squirting more natural lubricants, called synovial fluid, into your joints.
  3. Strengthening the tissues that support the joints. The stronger you make your muscles and bones; the stronger these tissues support the joints. In doctor lingo, weakened muscle is called “disuse atrophy”. Use it or lose it!

Knee, hip, shoulder and back pain top the “-itises” that lead most persons into the two Ds: disability and doctors’ visits.

Start Low, Go Slow

In untrained persons, a sudden bout of unaccustomed exercise can amp up the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals and free radicals. A Harvard study showed moderate exercise within one’s own comfort zone is healthier. Exercise that is too strenuous, too long, and way above a person’s comfort zone may increase oxidative stress (wear and tear on the muscles) and aggravate inflammation. In fit persons, especially when it becomes a consistent daily tonic, exercise has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

As a person gets progressively more fit, the body adapts by upgrading its antioxidant and inflammation defenses so that exercise eventually helps put the body back into inflammation balance. This mechanism explains why the blood markers of chronic inflammation are lower in persons who are physically fit. This also explains why inflammatory markers are higher in sitters.

No burn, no earn! Expert fitness trainers no longer teach the “no pain, no gain” method. Exercising until you hurt can be unhealthy. Yet, if you are exercising to build muscle, gradually increasing the weight and the duration of lifting until you feel the “burn” is a safe and effective way to exercise.