Joint pain, whether you’re young or old, can make life tough and can be debilitating in a lot of cases. If you suffer joint pain, not only will you constantly be uncomfortable, you will also suffer from mobility problems and may struggle with even the simplest of tasks. A lot of people will often rely on painkilling drugs and medicines. These medications only mask the pain - they don’t cure it. so what can you do? Experts have found that certain exercises and movements performed in water (i.e. a swimming pool) can help reduce joint pain and enhance mobility and flexibility. If you deal with joint issues, take a look at the following water exercises that have been found to make life a great deal easier.
One-legged balances – This exercise is very simple to perform, and it is just as it sounds. You stand in shallow water, on one leg, and bring your free leg upwards so that it is roughly at hip level. Underneath your raised leg, place an inflatable pool “noodle” and allow it to form a ‘U’ shape. Your foot should then be placed in the center of the ‘U.' Hold for as many seconds as possible and then switch legs after 30 seconds or so.
Sidesteps – Sidesteps are also very practical exercises for joint pain, and they couldn’t be simpler to perform. You should stand up and face the wall of the pool, and slowly step sideways so that your toes and your body are pointing at the side of the pool itself. Take around 20 steps in one direction, and then switch and return in the opposite direction. Repeat two to three times in both directions.
Water bicycles – To perform this exercise you will only need a couple of pool “noodles,” no other equipment is required for this exercise. In water which is at least shoulder deep, take one or two inflatable water noodles, loop it/them around your back, and rest your arms on the top to support you and keep you afloat in the water. Next, make a ‘pedaling’ motion with your legs, kicking them in the water as if you were riding an imaginary bicycle. Continue this motion for the next three to five minutes.
Exercising in the water is low impact and easy on the joints. The resistance that the water supplies helps build strength in muscles without strain. Moving the joint and strengthening the muscles to support the joint alleviates the pain and increases mobility and flexibility. Increased mobility will keep you active throughout your senior years.
For more information, contact Dr. Dan Albright at 919-863-6808.