Glistening, Gleaming, Gliding, Lubricating
Have you ever thought about the insides of your joints? If you've had joint pain, particularly hip or knee pain, and you're over 50, then you might imagine (or even have been told) that your joints could be "wearing out".
But that is not really the reality.
Whilst arthritis, just like wrinkles and thinning hair, is a part of the privilege of ageing, your joints are remarkably resilient. Your skin doesn't stop functioning as a protector, thermal regulator, sensory organ and vitamin absorber just because it's wrinkled. And your joint surfaces don't stop providing nutrition and lubrication, impact absorption and movement capacity just because they are painful or a scan shows they are ageing.
As physios, we would really like to promote this notion - and we actually feel really sad that people are led to believe that there is no hope for their joints. We prescribe exercises and promote safe and restorative movement because the evidence shows that this actually reduces joint pain and improves function. Here are a few words that Pain researcher and physiotherapist David Butler uses when encouraging his patients to start exercising:
"Try these strengthening and lubricating exercises for your knees, legs and body. Do them with the knowledge that even though they may be sensitive, these movements will be healthy, helpful and won’t cause any damage. I want to encourage you to do them in different places, with different people, at different times of the day and in different moods. This all gives you a richer knee representation in the brain by allowing many nerve cells to look after your knees when you need it.
The knees will respond by self-lubricating and making a reserve store of lubrication fluid.
They will glisten, gleam and glide beautifully and every movement will nourish the knee, continually lubricating it.
The quality of the joint fluid increases when you repeat the activity, when you know why you are doing it and when you have some future goals. Try to do lovely silky smooth movements to get that knee dancing back to life. Joint surfaces love a bit of pumping action too– it encourages fresh healing blood to the area and liberates even more joint fluid."
David Butler, noigroup.
So get moving - remember that Motion is Lotion!! If you'd like to know more about our programs for managing joint pain we'd love to chat to you!