You are constantly on the go. From meetings, to running errands, to exercising, to everything in between, life doesn’t stop. Any movement your body makes, you have your joints to thank. The joints are located where the bones meet and are responsible for the skeleton’s mobility. While your joints have a lot of pressure - sometimes, they can be a source of pain, chronic or otherwise. Since your joints are instrumental to your flexibility and mobility, it can be difficult to operate at peak performance when dealing with joint pain.
Below, we have compiled a few new ways to target old joint pain, especially ways veterans and veteran-owned businesses have attacked this challenge to support service members. While it can be intimidating sifting through the different cure-alls for joint pain, we seek to provide possible strategies that can work for you in your joint pain journey.
Causes of Joint Pain
Many things can be potential causes of joint pain. For veterans whose line of work puts physical durability to the test, overuse and repetitive motions from work or exercise can be a cause of joint pain. Along with this, injury, aging, and osteoarthritis are also a few other common causes of joint pain. In the United States, approximately 1 in 4 adults experience joint pain, making it a leading cause of health issues with American adults.
Find a Routine
As with most things, the best type of care starts with a routine. Building a repeatable routine, including rest, will keep your body in motion. Establishing a routine, much like a workout regimen, is a great way to ensure that your joint pain is addressed. Your routine should include daily exercise, mobility, natural supplements, and consulting a trained professional when pain affects your daily life.Below you’ll find some of our VRB strategies for helping navigate joint pain.
Exercise Can Help
When you are in pain, every fiber of your body may resist exercise. Mentally, it is challenging to perform at a top level in spite of pain. Joint pain, which affects mobility, is acutely linked to exercise as it impacts your frame of motion.
However, according to Harvard Medical School, exercise is actually one of the best strategies when tackling joint pain. Exercise contributes to muscle growth and overall well-being, which can be a preventative measure for further joint complications down the line. For example, as Harvard Medical School suggests, exercise can help build muscle density that prevents further deterioration of the body, and can also allow you to avoid surgery. Furthermore, a consistent routine with exercise may allow a person to eventually go back to activities that joint pain inhibited in the first place.
Exercises for Joint Health
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are certain exercises that can especially help when navigating joint pain. If you are someone who suffers from severe joint pain, it is important to consult with your doctor about your best plan for exercise. Below you will find a few exercises you can utilize to combat joint pain.
Strengthening is one of the most effective ways to build flexibility and promote mobility in the body. If you are new to strength training, utilizing tools such as resistance bands and free weights can be a great way to start. No matter where you are on your fitness journey, whether recovering from an injury or ready for that Iron Man, developing a routine two or three times a week that targets different muscle groups is an excellent place to start.
Range of motion exercises are often utilized by training professionals and target certain muscles or joints. There are three types of these exercises: active, active-assistive, and passive. Passive exercises include stretching, such as a doorway stretch, and active exercises include arm and wrist exercises. Finding a routine to help with joint pain can be best utilized under a specific plan.
Exercise such as walking, swimming, or bike riding all provide the benefits of exercise while minimizing pressure on joints. Participating in these activities for even twenty minutes a day can be a great way to utilize exercise while not over-exerting any joints.
While a healthy diet is key to an overall positive lifestyle, sometimes a boost is needed in order to provide the help you need on your journey. Although there are many products out there that promise immediate fixes for joint pain, finding supplements that promote things such as mobility can contribute to overall joint health.
VRB Labs’ own Recover Cream has showcased how CBD can be a natural ingredient for recovery by reducing inflammation in the system. This proprietary blend has been specifically developed to keep you active when times are tough. For preventative care, another Veteran owned company, BUBS Naturals, produces their Collagen Protein Powder, which promotes health and healing from the inside out. Scientifically, collagen is known to be one of the most important proteins in the body when it comes to joint health. The best part - it’s all-natural, so it only adds on to a healthier and happier you.
Building regular mobility into your routine is key to addressing joint pain. With a few inexpensive tools you can solve many of the issues that have plagued you for years.
If you have never stretched with a band – you’re welcome. Most gyms should have a set of elastic bands of differing resistance. There are many, many variations of banded stretching, but this list covers some of our favorites. Hold each stretch for 60-90 seconds. Explore the space from there:
- Banded Pec Stretch
- Banded Couch Stretch
- Banded Hip Flexor Stretch
- Banded Overhead Lat Stretch
- Banded Triceps Stretch
Stretch & Foam Roll
Most of us are on busy schedules, squeezing in a workout in between meetings, and wanting to immediately move on with our days after we’re done. However, stretching even for just 10 minutes post-workout gives our bodies time to cool down, to rehabilitate muscle fibers, and to improve blood circulation - contributing mightily to muscle recovery.
Additionally, targeted techniques with a foam roller or handheld massager are also great for adding pressure to certain muscles to reduce muscle soreness in specific areas. Stretching and foam rolling can be incorporated pre-workout, post-workout, and on non-workout days. The foam roller is your friend!