How Stretching Can Help Relieve Joint Pain
Stretching can be the Key to Prevention
We don’t always need to have had something traumatic happen to us to pick up an injury or develop pain. Pain can be really disruptive to how you live life day-to-day, it can stop you doing things and even interrupt your sleep.
We can make ourselves more resilient to injuries and pain by keeping our body’s in good condition. Just as we brush our teeth every day, our body needs a little help to keep it tip-top condition. The teeth need brushing to keep them clean and remove plaque, the joints and muscles need movement to combat the effects of being still. Like a car, the body is designed to move, to support us against gravity and take us from A to B. Making sure it is well oiled and all the parts are moving well rewards us with the same effect as sitting in our car and it starting the first time!
In the knee joint, we need to be able to fully straighten and fully bend to complete basic tasks like lying comfortably in bed, getting up the stairs or walking. Gentle daily stretches can help this process.
In the ankle joint, we need to be able to lift our toes up towards our shins, if our calves are tight this may be difficult.
In the shoulder joint, we need to be able to reach up high overhead, this benefits our arms, upper back and neck so taking 30 secs to reach up to the ceiling can really mobilise your upper body.
- Before you even get out of bed raise your arms over your head, point your toes and elongate your neck. Feel the whole body stretch and get longer. Just like a cat does when it wakes from a nap.
- Once you’re up and sit on the edge of your bed, reach forward and try to touch your toes, take it slowly and go through the movement until you feel a stretch and then rest there for a time until the stretch lessens.
- Sit back up and twist your upper body to reach behind you, first one way and then rotate around in the other direction.
- When you're standing up, rotate your ankles one at a time. Bend your knees to do a mini squat a couple of times and take your arms sideways and over your head.
Need More Help?
Learn more on stretching and on how it can benefit your joint pain to help you recover and build strength in your joints.