Stretching to Relieve and Prevent Pain

If you suffer from arthritis or other recurring joint or muscle pain, you may need to make stretching part of your daily routine.

Increased Range of Motion
Stretching helps relieve pain by increasing the body’s ability to move. The body responds to injury or overuse by becoming stiff. This stops the body’s natural healing response, but movement can help counteract the stiffness.

Increased Blood and Oxygen Flow
Injury and pain are often the result of decreased blood flow to the affected area. Under stress, increasing the oxygen flow throughout the body will help to heal and alleviate pain. By combining deep breathing with stretching, you can maximize the healing potential of your stretches.

Other Ways to Prevent Injuries:

  • Protect Your Joints: Make simple changes in your habits, like lifting slowly with your legs, supporting your lower back when sitting, and using pillows to support your joints when sleeping.
  • Manage Your Weight: Losing five to 10 pounds can go a long way to reducing the impact on your joints and give you more energy for regular stretching exercises.
  • Rotate Your Physical Activities: Besides stretching exercises like yoga to decrease joint stiffness and improve range of motion, incorporate aerobic exercises to boost metabolism and strength training for stronger muscles and increased bone density.

By making your body more flexible, you can speed the healing of damaged joints and muscles and reduce the risks of further injury. Talk to your doctor or a physical therapist about which stretches they recommend for you.