You have followed your course of home exercise therapy and you find yourself feeling better than ever. Your joint pain has greatly lessened, you are feeling more flexible and confident in your abilities, and you are back to enjoying all the physical activities that you love. Whether this means playing sports, working out regularly or just going about your day pain free, it’s great to feel like yourself again. This is the perfect moment to start taking steps to make sure you stay healthy and keep joint pain from coming back!
Luckily, there are lots of easy things you can do that can help prevent the return of joint pain. Here are a few of the most effective tips!
- RICE. After any physical activity that leaves you feeling sore, especially in a joint that you have had trouble with in the past, the best course of action is always RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This is often the most effective way to deal with minor soreness.
- Get Moving. Being sedentary throughout the day can leave your joints feeling stiff. Be sure to take regular breaks during the day; you should stand up, move around, and stretch out your joints as often as your job allows.
- Stretch thoroughly. Before engaging in any exercise or physical activity, be sure to stretch. Not only is this a great warm-up but it also helps prevent you from pulling a muscle or injuring a tendon.
- Keep your muscles strong. Strong muscles stabilize your joints and can decrease the amount of impact the joint absorbs. For example, strong quadriceps muscles can absorb some of the shock activity places on your knees, and decrease the overall wear and tear. This is also one of the key benefits of home exercise therapy.
- Choose low-impact exercises. Some activities are harder on your joints than others, so if you find that some, like running, are too hard on your joints, look into something that is easier, like swimming or cycling.
Even the healthiest and most careful people have to deal with joint pain once in a while, but by following these easy steps you can minimize the amount of time you have to deal with aching joints. More time feeling pain free means more time doing the things that you love!