What Helps Stiff Joints Loosen Up & Experience Relief?
Jan 19, 2023
Often associated with getting a little older, stiff joints are actually experienced by people of all ages. Whether it’s age or extra wear and tear we put our bodies through, finding what helps with stiff joints is imperative to getting back to being both pain free and improving mobility.
Today, we’re looking at what helps stiff joints loosen up to experience relief. We’ll also be examining common causes of joint stiffness so you can identify the catalyst of your condition. Read on, and get back to living a pain-free life!
What Are Stiff Joints?
While you may think the answer to this question is clear, the truth is there are nuances to stiff joints that could be indicative of a variety of conditions, resulting in similar symptoms. Discomfort from joint stiffness ranges in severity from mild to debilitating. Inflammation and pain can sometimes occur with joint stiffness, making walking or standing painful. Analyzing your symptoms and identifying the underlying cause is paramount to learning what helps stiff joints.
What Causes Stiff Joints?
The first step to learning what helps stiff joints is finding out how to identify the root cause of your discomfort. Years of use can take a toll on joints, muscles, and bones, resulting in stiff joints most commonly associated with age-related conditions similar to arthritis. That said, however, stiff joints can happen at any age.
For example, the extra wear and tear athletes put on their bodies may lead to stiff joints at younger ages. Similarly, more sedentary lifestyles could also result in stiff joints, especially if you opt to start being more active.
A list of common catalysts for what causes stiff joints includes:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or osteoarthritis (OA)
- Sleeping posture
- Time of day or weather
There are a seemingly endless number of potential causes for stiff joints. Being aware of what may be causing your discomfort is the best way to learn what helps joint stiffness and experience relief.
What Helps Stiff Joints?
Now that we’ve identified common causes of joint stiffness, what helps stiff joints loosen up so you can experience relief? It’s important to speak to your doctor if you’re experiencing stiff joints to come up with a treatment plan together. That said, there are many natural remedies that may help with stiff joints and get you back to living pain-free as quickly as possible.
Some of our preferred methods for what helps stiff joints include:
- Exercising and being more active
- Using heat therapy and cold therapy as needed
- Getting a massage for joint pain
- Eating a balanced diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Meditating for joint pain relief
Exercising and Being More Active
One of the simplest methods for what helps stiff joints is exercising and being more active. This may seem counterintuitive if you’re experiencing slight mobility reductions due to stiff joint pain, but it’s true! Regular physical activity keeps the muscles around affected joints strong, decreases bone loss, and may help control joint swelling and pain. Furthermore, being active replenishes lubrication to the cartilage of your joints which helps reduce stiffness and pain.
There are a variety of stretches and activities to help loosen stiff joints. Consider exercises and stretches such as:
- Shoulder rolls
- Hamstring stretches
- Side bends
- Trunk rotations
- Hip rolls
Beyond these stretches and exercises, activities like swimming, yoga, and tai chi are all low-impact exercises that may help alleviate joint stiffness and get you back to feeling your best.
Using Cold and Heat Therapy
Cold and heat therapy applications are both effective methods for what helps joint stiffness. Applying cold compresses can help reduce inflammation and reduce pain from swollen joints after being active. Conversely, heat therapy is helpful before physical activity to loosen the muscles and joints, alleviating joint stiffness for maximum mobility and flexibility.
A cold compress may help slow the production of joint fluid while also stimulating sensory receptors in the skin and lowering the amount of pain signals sent to your brain. You should never apply ice packs or any cold compress directly to the skin, as it could be damaging to the tissue. Instead, wrap them in a towel or other covering and limit your application to 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
Heat therapy aids with swelling, inflammation, and is a wonderful method for what helps stiff joints. The go-to heat therapy method for many generations was the heating pad, but today’s market offers much better options for what helps with stiff joints such as heated massage chairs. These tools combine massage with the benefits of heat therapy and other elements to help you experience relief quickly and on a regular basis.
Getting a Massage for Joint Pain
Speaking of massage chairs, getting a massage for joint pain makes our list of what helps stiff joints loosen up. Today’s models offer different types of massage programs to give you the exact treatment you need. When it comes to what helps joint stiffness, you may want to consider therapeutic massage styles like Swedish massage programs.
The long, fluid strokes of the Swedish massage technique work the skin, muscles, and tissues to help reduce muscle aches and joint stiffness with ease. Massage increases blood flow throughout the body, releasing the muscles around the joints and enhancing the healing process. It also keeps muscles from seizing up and causing joint stiffness that way.
Zero gravity massage chairs and models with other features like heat therapy or chromotherapy combine a variety of methods for what helps stiff joints and let you experience them all at once! Instead of having to make regular massage therapy appointments, one of the benefits of owning a massage chair is that you can experience relief on your schedule and as needed.
Don’t rely on timing your massage appointment just right or resign yourself to perpetual appointment costs. Having a massage chair is the ultimate tool for relaxing, loosening up stiff joints, and improving your overall health and wellness.
Eating a Balanced Diet
The influence of our diet on our health cannot be understated. It’s been shown through countless studies that what we eat has a direct effect on our bodies inside and out. Eating a balanced diet may be the key to what helps joint stiffness you’re experiencing, as certain foods are known to cause inflammation and swelling within the body.
Try to maintain a healthy diet balancing omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, vitamin D, as well as fruits and vegetables to reduce inflammation and improve joint health overall. You may also want to limit your intake of red meat and dairy, as some experts have suggested a possible link between chronic inflammation and saturated fats found in them.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Another method for what helps with stiff joints is maintaining a healthy weight. Not only is this good for joint health, but is vital to your overall health and wellness in the long term. Excess weight can cause joint stiffness and pain due to the added pressure it puts on them. Consult your doctor about what a healthy weight looks like for you and make a plan for how to achieve this moving forward.
Meditating for Joint Pain Relief
Last up on our list of what helps stiff joints loosen up so you can experience relief is meditation. While it may sound strange, meditation helps your mental and physical health by centering your mind and increasing self-awareness.
Studies have shown mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) to lessen pain, morning stiffness, and swollen joints. The participants in the aforereferenced study reported experiencing these changes almost immediately and seeing the effects up to 6 months later.
Identifying your symptoms and their causes is key to learning what helps stiff joints loosen up. Whether it’s stretching more each day, starting a healthy diet, or using a massage chair to combine multiple methods for what helps stiff joints, let’s get you back to a pain-free life as fast as possible!
Want to learn more about how massage chairs are perfect solutions for what helps with stiff joints? Check out the Ogawa Active L Plus Massage Chair that cradles your body so all your muscles and joints are cared for.