Stretch your Joints, not just Muscles, to Prevent Arthritis

Most people know how to stretch their muscles and we all understand the importance of stretching for injury prevention. BUT are you aware that stretching the JOINTS and not just your muscles is the most important component of maintaining your physical health as you age!!! And most people have no idea how to stretch their muscles or their muscles are so tight that the stretch never gets to the joint!!

To learn more about how and why JOINT stretching is the key to physical longevity read on……

Picture: Another stretching position (Press-up)

Article: We all know stretching has been said to be very important in preventing injury, especially arthritis. But did you know that most stretching programs focus on muscular flexibility and do not address the flexibility of the joints themselves. YOU probably are not aware that you can isolate the stretch in your joints if you know how.

In 25 years of hands-on joint work, I have come to realize that it is the health of the joint that is the most important component responsible for your physical longevity. This is what really keeps you playing your sports, working out or just moving as you age. It is when the joints begin to deteriorate that all the other tissues in the body involved in movement like muscles, tendons and bones begin to follow and typically not the other way around.

Picture: Joint Capsule (From slide show Rusting Body)

Most or your important “movement” joints like hips, knees and lower back, have a structure called a “capsule” that surrounds the joint and holds in the lubricating fluid called synovial fluid. This fluid is like the oil in your engine which helps to reduce friction of the joint surfaces as you move. The synovial fluid is produced by the cells that line the capsule called synovial cells. When a joint is healthy and moving through its normal range of motion, the synovial fluid is produced at a normal rate and the joint moves almost frictionless thus protecting the joints surfaces or cartilage. When a joint becomes stiff, (ie from playing a sport and not stretching properly after each game, year after year – and I know you all keep up with your post-exercise stretching), the capsule becomes tight and looses its ability to produce the correct amount of synovial fluid. This is not good.

Picture: Arthritic bone

Once this process starts, the joint slowly begins to wear due to the increased friction. And so begins the vicious cycle of arthritis. In the beginning phase of this slow process, there is usually no joint pain felt and x-rays will be normal. However this is when you experience “stiffness” which most people totally ignore and work through. This stiffness is really the early warning sign that should not be ignored! It is important to detect this stiffness early on in this process so that it can be corrected so this vicious cycle be altered.

A proper evaluation (ArthrometRX) is a key component in detecting this joint stiffness so that a proper joint stretching program can be designed for your individual needs. To learn more about how to stretch your joints and your muscles see……

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