The big fear of exercising with joint pain is making the condition that is causing the pain worse. Many would be surprised to learn that not only is exercising with painful joints almost always safe, it is also often associated with better overall outcomes when it comes to many of the conditions that cause joint pain. In instances of joint pain caused by various forms of arthritis, regular exercise may be the only thing that keeps joints functioning as well as they can for the long term.


The Secret for Joint Pain Relief

It seems counterintuitive to move when it hurts. However, for most who suffer chronic joint pain, regular movement is the key to living as pain free as possible. There are over 100 forms of arthritis. It also affects the individuals who have it in various ways and to varying degrees. These are the variables to consider when deciding just how much exercise is beneficial, and when it is too much. Deciding should be done with the help of a physician and personal experience.


Why is Exercising Painful Joints Beneficial?

The human body is made to move. Movement of stiff and painful joints increases oxygen-rich blood flow to joints to help in healing. Movement that involves flexing and stretching the joints maintains and improves range of motion. Frozen shoulder is extremely painful, but the only proven non-surgical physical therapy is aggressive forced movement through the pain to regain range of motion. Movement increases strength to support affected joints, and movement burns calories to offload weight the joints need to bear.


What to Expect When Exercising Painful Joints

For those beginning to exercise painful joints, it is crucial to start slowly. Low-impact exercises should always be the regimen when there is joint pain. Pain should be expected to initially be a little worse. After a few days of maintaining an exercise routine, the range of movement, strength, flexibility and weight bearing capabilities of the affected joints begins to improve and pain lessens. Those who begin to lose weight should expect a short-term increase in pain. As the pounds come off, weight compression on the joints is lessened. The lessening compression may make nerve fibers more sensitive to pain for a little while.


When to Not Exercise Painful Joints

The goal should be to move. This is why a frank discussion with a medical doctor needs to take place anytime there is serious injury or structural damage to joints. After accidents and surgery, physical therapy and rehabilitation is the next step. For even the most serious joint pains and injuries, some form of movement is recommended. However, there can be instances where a short period of healing needs to take place in a joint that has been immobilized, but even these situations eventually lead to therapy to get the joint moving and strong again. As for arthritis, exercise is at the lead for recommended therapy to keep the joints moving, but it is always movement based on appropriate exercises for the affected joints.

Fear of moving painful joints can actually inhibit healing and the ability to maintain flexibility and strength needed to get around. Favoring and compensating for a painful joint is natural, but following exercise regimens expressly intended to move painful joints is usually what the doctor recommends. Exercising with joint pain is always unique to the individual. Please visit for more information on joint pains and how exercising helps in becoming as pain free as possible.