Maintaining Healthy Joints

Do you have painful joints?

Most of us ignore our joint health until our joints start to hurt. Joints are an important part of your body, just like your heart, lungs, and brain. Healthy joints are essential to our daily activity, be it playing baseball or merely lifting a glass of water. If you have stiff joints, you may be unable to even move or walk around normally, or lead a healthy lifestyle. This in turn can affect the longevity of life. In short, not paying attention to your joints is like gambling with your life.

It’s not just you who never thought about your joint health. According to the Orthopedic Institute’s A Beginner’s Guide to Joint Health, 7 out of 10 Americans over the age of 34 experience occasional joint stiffness, and 62% of people have concerns about their joint health. Read this article to learn the secret to healthy joints. 

Starting From the Basics: What Are Joints?

Joints are the point in our body where two bones meet. Some joints are moveable, like knees, elbows, shoulders, neck, wrists, and ankles, while others are non-moveable, like the joints in the skull. Joints have a layer of soft tissue between them called cartilage, which helps the bones to glide over each other without allowing them to rub and cause pain.

If you do not take care of your joints, this cartilage tends to wither away and decay as you age, causing friction between two bones. This eventually leads to painful joints. This condition is known as arthritis. Nowadays, as younger people tend to ignore joint health, this condition has become more common amongst younger people as well.

According to the CDC, nearly two-thirds of the people diagnosed with arthritis are younger than 65 years of age, and it is more prevalent in women (26%) than in men (19%) in all the age groups.

Types of arthritis:

There are three main types of arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis: it is the most common type of arthritis. The bone ends rub together and cause friction, causing pain, inflammation, and loss of motion.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: this is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system starts to attack the cartilage of the joints, causing pain, stiffness, and loss of motion.
  • Gout: it is the inflammatory type of arthritis. Uric acid starts to build up in the joints making crystals. It causes sharp pain, tenderness, warmth, and swelling in the joints.

In 2018, the 30-day acute-care hospital re-admission rate was around 13.9% for rheumatoid arthritis and 9.5% for osteoarthritis in the United States.

Tips to Maintain Healthy Joints:

Here are some easy tips to help you keep moving in your life in order to keep your joints healthy.

1. Stay in motion

A lot of you tend to stop walking or avoid motion due to fear of pain, but staying in motion is important. Moving helps improve joint pain. As the saying goes, “use it or lose it.”

You should make a routine of at least 10-15 minutes of moderate physical activity per day, and aim to slowly increase the activity to 30 minutes. Rather than being a “weekend warrior,” you should remain consistent with your goal in order to improve your joints on a daily basis.

2. Daily dose of Vitamin D

Take a walk outside on a bright day so that you can absorb the maximum amount of vitamin D from the sunlight. Vitamin D is essential, as it helps calcium get absorbed in the bones.

Research has proven that people who suffer from vitamin D deficiency are more prone to having arthritis in the future, while those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis but have adequate blood vitamin D levels perform their daily tasks more easily. Make sure to take care of your vitamin D intake for a more comfortable life in the long run.

3. Maintain a healthy diet

Healthy diet is the key to a healthy mind, body, and soul, and so it is also essential for the joints. There isn’t any specific diet that is recommended for the joints, but there are certain guidelines that should be incorporated into your lifestyle to avoid arthritis.

  • Eat 2-4 ounces per day of omega-3 fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, or tuna, as omega-3 fatty acid can lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • Eat colorful plates! Consume 6 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, as they are rich in antioxidants that will maintain the joints, as well as reduce inflammation.
  • Choosing whole grain is the best option, as many whole grain foods contain selenium. Many people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are deficient in selenium, so this may help balance the deficiency. 
  • Eat a handful of nuts daily. Nuts contain phytoflavanoids which are powerful antioxidants that can reduce inflammation in people suffering from osteoarthritis. 
  • Olive oil is the best choice as a cooking oil, as it has the power to reduce inflammation. 
  • Drink a cup of green tea daily. It contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which reduces inflammation in joints. 
  • Drink water! Water helps lubricate the joints. All the cells in our body, including the cartilage in joints, tend to work best when properly hydrated.

4. Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight leads to a lot of problems, including arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, even having 10 lbs. of extra weight will put 20-30 lbs. of weight stress on your joints. Eating a healthy balanced diet and reducing just 10% of your weight gradually will relieve your joints from extra stress.

5. Keep your joints protected

Wearing a guard on your knees and elbow while cycling or doing any physical activity will avoid any harsh impact on your joints and will protect them from dislocating.


Joints helps us to perform our the activities and chores of our daily lives, so you should aim towards healthy joints by starting now. It’s proven that staying consistent with your exercise will help you stay in motion, which will help reduce stiffness and joint pain, as well as helping you shed some extra pounds, if necessary. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will not only help you keep extra weight off your joints, but will also help protect your joints from damage.

Natural Ways To Increase Your Range of Motion

Understanding Range of Motion and How You Can Increase It Naturally

Some of us might not realize that our joints are not moving at their optimal range. You should be able to move your joints around without feeling any type of pain or restriction. 

Range of motion is the range through which a joint can be moved. There are different types of range of motions. Each joint is meant to move differently depending on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that surround it. 

Restricted range of motion can be caused by:

  • Inflammation of the soft tissue
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Pain
  • Joint dislocation 
  • Fractures in nearby areas of your body 
  • Medical conditions 

After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of what range of motion is, as well as natural ways to increase your range of motion without using medication or taking extreme measures such as operating. 

What is the range of motion around a joint?

When we talk about the range of motion (ROM) around a joint, we are talking about both the distance a joint can move as well as the direction in which it can move. Doctors have defined standard ranges of motion for your joints. If your joints do not move the way that they are meant to, then you have restricted ROM in that specific joint. 

In this study, researchers determined the ‘normal’ range of motion that different age groups should have in different joint areas. For example, they determined that a Hip Flexion movement in a female aged 20-44 should have a ROM between 132.5 degrees – 135.1 degrees. 

How can you prevent limited range of motion?

Preventing and treating a limited range of motion can be done in a natural and holistic way. There are exercise routines as well as different types of massages that you can do to help regain movement in a specific joint. The best part about these exercises, as well as massage, is that you can do them in the comfort of your own home. 

You can increase your range of motion by doing specific exercise movements that are designed to help increase your range of motion. Make sure that you speak to your doctor before you start to perform any form of exercise to make sure that it is safe for you to do so. 

Omega oils are also a great way for you to look after your joints. Some experts say that you should oil your joints from the inside out. Research has found that people who eat fish high in Omega-3 are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 may also help to reduce joint swelling and pain. 

Another great way for you to increase your range of motion is massage. Massage has been around for a very long time and it is there to help increase blood flow, heal muscles, and aid in relaxation. As a professional massage therapist, I have found that massage and certain stretches and movements have helped my clients increase their range of motion tremendously. 

Self massage to increase range of motion

You might be wondering: how does massage help with range of motion? Massage increases range of motion because it increases muscle tissue elasticity. If you have poor muscle elasticity, your muscles will limit the amount of movement that your joints are able to perform.

In a study that was done in 2015, researchers compared the difference between manual massage and foam rolling on the knee and hip area. They found that manual massage improved the range of motion by 13–15°. Overall, the study found that manual massage increased the range of motion more than when people used the foam roller. 

Self massage might seem like a difficult thing for you to do but it is actually simple. All you need to do is identify the area that has limited range of motion. Apply some cream or oil to that area and then apply a firm pressure going in the direction of your heart. You will increase the elasticity in that muscle, as well as the amount of lymphatic drainage, which will help with detoxification in the body. 

Exercises to increase range of motion

There are three types of exercise categories that will help with ROM: Active, Active assistive, and passive. 

Active: Active exercise is when you move the joint by yourself without any help from another person. For example, you actively flex and extend your ankle as well as move the joint around in a circle. 

Active assistive: Active assistive exercises rely on the effort that you put in, as well as effort put in by someone else. This other person can be a professional or someone who is there to help you through your healing journey. These movements are helpful when it is painful to flex or extend the joint by yourself. For example, if you have hurt your shoulder, someone will grab your arm whilst you relax the muscles in your arm. They will then slowly move your arm out and to the side. They will then stop at the point of pain and let the muscles and joint rest there for a few seconds before bringing your arm back to the side of your body. 

Passive: These are exercises that rely on the effort of someone else. These exercises are normally performed when you are unable to move the joint by yourself. These types of exercises are often done after you have just had an operation or injury, or you just are not able to move the joint by yourself. The professional will hold onto the joint and move the limb without you engaging any of the muscles that surround the joint. 

According to, physical activity helps reduce pain and increase range of motion in people who suffer from arthritis. Even if you do not have arthritis, you may get the same benefits when it comes to increasing your range of motion. 

Ways in which you can increase range of motion in specific areas of the body 

We are now going to look at specific exercises that you can do that will help your range of motion in specific joints. 

How to increase range of motion in your shoulders

There are different exercises that you can do that will help increase your range of motion in your shoulder. Harvard Medical School released an article showing you which exercises can help increase mobility. 

  1. Pendulum Stretch
    Firstly you need to relax your shoulder. Stand or lean over slightly and allow your affected arm to hang down. You are then going to want to swing your arm in a small circle. Do 10 circles in each direction once a day. 
  2. Finger Walk
    Face a wall about three-quarters of an arm’s length away. Reach out and touch the wall with your fingertips at waist level. You want your elbow to be slightly bent and then you are slowly going to walk your fingertips up the wall like a spider. Keep going until you reach a point of pain or discomfort. Once you have reached that point, leave your arm there for a few seconds and then slowly walk your fingers down the wall. Do this 10-20 times a day. 

How to increase range of motion in your knees

There are many different methods and exercises to increase range of motion in your knees. A 2008 study shows the best movements and exercises to increase range of motion in your knees.

  1. Heel Slides
    Lie on your back or sit on the floor. Make sure that your legs are stretched out and are as straight as possible. You are then going to slowly bend your knee by sliding your heel towards your buttocks and then back down to the starting position. Each set will consist of 10 of these movements. You want to do 3 sets of 10 once a day with 45 seconds rest between each set. 
  2. Knee Flexion
    Begin by lying face down. You can place a pillow underneath your stomach if this is more comfortable. Place a resistance band around your ankles and slowly bring your ankle towards your head. You do not want to go past the point of pain. Slowly pull on the band to flex your knee, hold it there for a few seconds and then bring your ankle back to the starting position. Perform this exercise three times a day for best results. 

How to increase range of motion in your hips 

There are so many different hip exercises out there. Finding the right ones for you might take some time, and you may need to consult a professional to ask which routine is best for you and your specific situation. Here are a few of the more common hip exercises that you can do. 

  1. Hip Circles
    You are going to stand on your right leg and lift your left leg. Then, move your left leg in a clockwise circle. Do 20 circles and then change directions. Once you have done both directions, change legs and do the same on your right hip. 
  2. Sidestep with band/exercise belt
    (Make sure that you keep your toes facing straight ahead. You can increase the intensity of this exercise by lowering the band and lowering your squat position.)
    First you are going to stand in a half-squat position. Place the resistance band around your lower thighs. Then, engage your hip muscles as you slowly take small steps to the side. You want to take 8-15 steps in one direction and then take 8-15 steps in the opposite direction. 


It is now safe to say that you have a better understanding about range of motion, as well as how you can increase your ROM using natural ways. Exercises and the massages might take you a bit longer than medication or surgery to fully resolve any issues, but there are a multitude of benefits to increasing your range of motion holistically. At the end of the day, the natural way will not only increase your range of motion, but it will also help to strengthen the muscles around the joints. This will increase your overall muscle and joint health in the long run. 

Always remember that:

  • When you massage, apply more pressure towards your heart and less pressure away from your heart. This will ensure that you go with your body’s natural cycle and blood flow. 
  • Do not go past the point of pain when you are doing your exercises. If it hurts, you need to stop. Pain does not equal gain. It can cause injuries. 
  • If you are still struggling with your range of motion, consult a doctor. There might be a neurological issue or a fracture that you are unaware of. 

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