When striving for either decreased pain or optimal health having healthy joints can play a serious role. In addition to improving the ability to exercise, keeping joints healthy can help improve circulation and posture. In this article we will look at the correlation between joint health, exercise, posture, and circulation. We will also discuss a couple things that you can do to help your body maintain healthy joints.
First, if you have arthritis (inflammation of a joint) it will be painful to move or bend that joint. If the joint in question is weight bearing than it will obviously be more difficult to exercise because of pain. This becomes a "catch-22", as we know that exercise is a very important factor to achieving optimal health, and can also play a role in pain reduction.
If you have degeneration or inflammation in the spine it will affect how the body holds and distributes weight. When the joints in the spine in the area of the low back are either locked up (it will feel like stiffness) or have mild to severe degeneration (which can create pain) than motion and alignment will be affected. This change in alignment and weight distribution in turn create further degeneration and inflammation, resulting in a downward spiral.
Joint health can also affect circulation. When you have unstable or misaligned joints the body will work, through muscle contraction, to lock down a joint. This “lock down” will decrease circulation to the area because the tissue will be too tight to allow blood to easily flow to or away from the tissue. The circulatory system is designed to bring nutrition to cells and remove waste products. If there is reduced circulation it is easy to see how the cells will suffer from lack of nutrition and a build-up of toxins.
As you can see, it can be very important to maintain the functionality of the joints of your body. The result of ignoring degenerative changes will not only be poor joint health, but will make it harder for your body to heal.
There are a variety of things that you can do to maintain motion, flexibility and alignment in your joints. Yoga is one practice that helps keep muscles strong and joints flexible. Chiropractic is a profession well known to address pain and alignment of the spine and extremities. Most chiropractors can help with alignment and fixation of joints; there are many cases that have seen a slowed progression of degeneration under chiropractic care. Finally, there are a myriad of supplements that one can take to support joint health, such as Omega-3 essential fatty acids, and glucosamine chondroitin.
Between good exercise, proper alignment of the spine and other joints, good posture, and increased circulation your body will have a much better chance to recover from injury and heal.