Why do my Joints Feel Stiff as I Get Older?

8 November 2020

Joints stiffness affects you significantly. Especially as we get older (and wiser). Those usual afternoon jogs can be a struggle. Even waking up in the morning might be a bit more difficult. Although joint stiffness can be an ongoing problem, it can be managed with both professional help and self-motivation.

Here are the reasons why your joints are stiff and how you can help reduce it!

Changes To The Joint

Changes to the joint are inevitable. Additionally, those diagnosed with osteoarthritis will experience more rapid progressions.

As seen in the side-view perspective of the knee, there is an enormous number of structures within your joint. One of the most significant impacts on your joint’s reduced range of motion is the “incongruity of the joint surfaces.” Simply, the surfaces between the joints can change shape and form.

Free to use: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Joint.svg

The smooth and shiny cartilage is responsible for lubricating the surfaces between the joints. As it breaks down over time, the natural fluidity of the joint’s movement will deteriorate.

Additionally, the inflammation caused by the breakdown of cartilage results can affect the other structures of the knee, such as the ligaments and joint capsule. Inflammatory changes can drive a process called fibrosis which impacts causes these structures to limit movement.

Although still under investigation, muscle tightness and weakness has also been tied to joint health. As our muscles stabilise our joints and drive movement, insufficient muscular strength and flexibility can also lead to the reduced range of motion from the joint.

How Can I Manage My Joint Stiffness?

Regular physical activity and exercise have been shown to improve both joint stiffness and pain. Light-impact exercises, such as swimming, cycling and pilates, are gentler ways of developing flexibility through the joint.

Constant joint movement helps disperse the natural lubrication through the joint to overcome stiffness. Additionally, developing increased muscular strength also actively promotes movement and range of motion through the joint.

If you’re unsure what you can do for your stiffness, we would recommend seeing a physiotherapist or osteopath to look after your joint health. Discover how you come overcome your joint stiffness by contacting the Clinic Nutrition team.


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