How To Exercise With Joint Pain – Regain Your Stability

By Michael

August 15, 2018

What’s a joint pain have to do with exercising? Nearly every single living movement.

The joint swelling, the stiffness and fatigue experienced with a joint pain is far more than enough to sit your bum and lay your body down. But don’t let a bed or a couch fool you.

Not necessarily does less movement mean avoiding the risk of further injury. In fact the opposite is true, the faster and longer you can stay on your feet to exercise, the more your joints will feel at ease, but more importantly strong as a rock!

At a closer look, exercises help keep your joints:

  • flexible
  • strong

… And the best relief for many of us who can compare is the loss of weight, which takes the pressure off already aching joints. If you’re dealing with more weight, don’t you worry because I have the recipe to turn the body of a tank to the body of a Maserati, well not quite, but with every inch of effort you put in, you’ll certainly learn to first imagine it, and then become it.

Get this:

Exercising your joints has the power to shave off 6 pounds off your hips!

Your hips are the #1 contributing factor to your lower back pain. How great would it be to help your joints, while fix your hips muscle imbalances? That’s some serious business for you. I hope you’ve already realized how exercising is a “need” and not a “want”, supposing you want to let go of your lower back pain.

But if you don’t, you’re about to see how revolutionizing and life changing exercising your joints are for the road to recovery.

In my article, I will go a step beyond, and I will show you how to exercise with joint pain if you have spine problems like disc and spondolythesis, along with those of us who are advancing into a more accelerated program.

Here’s what will be covered:

  1. Exercises not to do
  2. All categories of exercise
  3. Best stretches and exercise
  4. What’ll work for you

Without more to add, lets get started!

Mistakes Made Are Mistakes Corrected

Its fantastic that you’ve come across this article, because the best way to correct your joint issues are by learning from others. You always ‘t have a doctor or physical therapist pointing you in the right direction, but they don’t necessarily know your pain and how to correct it like you truly do.

Its the same concept as you can lead a horse to water, but If they are not thirsty or its not the water for them, who are they to tell you differently?

It’s likely they haven’t been dealing with lower back pain issues like you and I. And to no disrespect, I feel as I can be of more or equal help.

Activity is the bodies natural remedy but to keep the joints flowing in harmony with the rest of your physique you’ll have to do some dodging, and ducking.

#1. Avoid high impact exercises. There’s nothing worse than jumping out the gates with a cloud of dust behind your feet. High impact activities will simply place too much:

  • stress
  • tension
  • pressure

Activities of high impact include:

  1. Running/jogging
  2. Jumping
  3. Twisting
  4. High speed movements

I’ll speak for myself and many of my compatriots, that we like to be on the go. We thrive on explosive movements with increased motion. The thought of taking a LARGE step back is like asking a mom not to take charge in the kitchen. It just doesn’t fly!

But if you want to heal, you’ll have to put it on stand by. When it’s possible, avoid stretches that involve a long range of movement. Such as these:

Do you have spine problems? Disc issues? Such as:

  • degenerative disc disease
  • herniated disc
  • spondolythesis
  • facet joint syndrome

If you happen to have one or more, then it’s best to not even think about a high impact activity if you haven’t started lower impact activities, which I will cover in a moment.

The reason you shouldn’t do a high impact activity with these underlying issues is because it will worsen your back, and can cause your disc to not only inflame but wear and tear. It’s important for me to highlight:

You must learn to crawl before you can walk.

Before I had a spine problem, I began developing joint pain in my Sacroiliac joint, and knees. At the time, I was extremely, and I mean extremely active with soccer. All that range of motion, twisting, bending, changing directions as a center midfielders role does, place a great amount of strain on my joints.

But I was not easily put off. That was my first mistake.

About a month after aggressive movements, I started feeling pops in my knees, and pain in my SI joints, not even the second wave phased me…

I kept doing my workouts of jogging for miles, and training on the pitch. It was evident the following mornings when I’d wake up with stiffness and pain.

Jump 3 years later, and I suffered a blow to my lower back from a game. That’s when it all began.

I lost my mobility in my:

  • muscles
  • joints
  • ligaments

After a month of physical therapy, I felt like I was ready to start jogging. I was wrong! My pain from a herniated disc I was working through made my pain even worse. I learned a valuable lesson. I fell before I succeeded. Now you’ll be able to do save yourself from what I went through.

In the next part, you’ll see all the exercises you can do.

Exercises To Look Past Your Joints

Whether you’re struggling with:

  1. Just joint issues
  2. Disc and joint issues

… There’s an exercise management program I have for you. Before you hit the ground running, you’ll need to learn how to walk…literally.

Exercise #1. Walking

Bar none, this needs to be starting point “A”.

Here are the benefits:

  • It’s free
  • you can do it almost anywhere!
  • no special training needed

… And did I say it s easy on your sore joints? Walking packs a punch. The greatest benefit of all that I personally experienced was loss of weight. Even though I went from a whopping 166 Lbs back to 145 Lbs, it went a long way.

As you lose weight it will lessen these two things for your joints:

  • stress
  • pain

Who doesn’t want the best of both worlds?

Now, it’s important I say, there are different styles of walking:

  1. slow walking
  2. fast walking
  3. walking with weight

Each one is a step above the one below it. To get to the next level, you should start with continuous day to day walking slowly.

Time: I figured that 10 minutes a day is more than enough to strengthen my muscles and ligaments, while forcing my joint to stay in a fixed position. Don’t do miles and miles of it, it will cause you to feel sore the next day.

A flat surface, concrete will work, a rubber ground like a track is ideal.

==>See more about walking with a lower back pain<==

Exercise #2. Swimming 

Single handily, the best aerobic exercise for your joints, whether that be:

  • facet joints
  • SI Joints
  • knee joints

… You’ll find what you were looking for in the water if your pain is so severe you couldn’t imagine walking. See, unlike on land, you can soothe your joints with the benefits of a temperpeudic feel.

The benefits of water are:

  • stretching your muscles
  • soothe your joints

And did I mention this can all be done without feeling any “stress and pressure” like you might feel if you were walking?

Swimming is ideal for patients with a lumbar spine impairment such as:

  • disc degeneration
  • herniated disc
  • spondolythesis
  • abnormal curvature
  • buldging disc
  • thinning disc
  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis

…And Much more!

There’s a saying: “Blue is Cool”. The water will not chill your body, it will actually cool and relax your muscle and joints from deep impact forces.

More benefits include:

  • controlling weight
  • boost in mood
  • improvment in sleep

It really does do all that. On vacation, I love to hit the water mid afternoons. I’ll run through my routine without even noticing it anymore. I have a page dedicated to swimming with lower back pain, but for this article I will show you what to do as well.

Specific exercises include:

1. March.

Image result for water exercises


Think of this as the warm up. You wouldn’t go start a workout if you haven’t stretched right?

How it helps:

  • relieves muscle stiffness in your legs

How to do:

  1. Get your feet planted on the ground
  2. Start moving freely around the perimeter
  3. Do this for 10 minutes

2. Standing knee lift.

How it helps:

  • strengthens balance
  • makes your muscles stronger
  • causes your joints to constrict and fall into it’s natural place better

How to do: 

  1. Stand against the pool wall
  2. Place both feet on the bottom of the floor
  3. Lift either your right or left knee like if you were marching in place
  4. With your knee lifted and even with your hip, straighten your knee
  5. Bend and straighten your knee over and over at least 10 times
  6. Repeat on the other leg

Complete 3 sets of 10 on each leg

See more water exercises

Let’s take a step further and strengthen your joints.

Exercise #3. Strength Training

Certain conditions will limit your time with weights, but even the slightest amount of time and effort will go a long way!

There’s an equation I’d like you to live by, eat by, and breathe by, because it’s the most single indication for your lower back pain.

Stronger muscles = Stronger joints = Stronger lower back

Looks simple, but it’s difficult to analyze and attempt without proper education and training. And its not because you don’t know what you’re doing, but because we keep settling with our most comforting habits.

Now, back to strength training. Just last month, I finished a six week intensive resistance training program, and let me tell you, I feel phenomenal. Even though my herniated disc is gone, I still take the cautious approach as a beginner.

Specific exercises:

1. Squats

Benefits include:

  • strengthens the muscles around your joints
  • lubricates your joints
  • increases movement and mobility

I like to use weights now, but one thing I used to do at home is this:

How to do:

  1. Place two cans of equal size on your palms
  2. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
  3. Your knees slightly bent
  4. Palms facing forward
  5. Bend your knees and squat slowly lowering your hips toward the floor
  6. Pause, and 5 second later, slowly raise back up into starting positon
  7. Repeat at least 10 times

2, Squats with weights.

A more common approach is using dumbbells or a weight bar. I’d start off with weight less than 10 Lbs to start

How to do:

  1. Start with your weights in hand, and hands to your side
  2. Slightly, start bending your knees, bring your hips toward the floor
  3. Try to get as parallel to your hips as you can
  4. Hold it for 10 seconds, and resurface back to starting position.
  5. Repeat for 10 more times

Exercise #4. Yoga

Do you want more control over your movements and mobility of your joints? Then you’re in the right perimeters.

When your joint and it’s surrounding muscles are inflamed and swollen, it’ll result in:

  • bad balance
  • poor position awareness
  • increased risk of falling

… And much of what inflammation causes is us to want to sit down. This is the perfect time to strike a pose…sort of speak.

Yoga will help you feel a sense of where your joints are located again, and cause immediate relaxation. Plus, the best benefits of all are:

  1. Increased Strength
  2. Increased Flexibility

There are many styles and variations of yoga, with different focuses. My number 1 and 2 are:

  1. Vinyasa
  2. Ashtanga

For those suffering with the begging stages of chronic lower back pain, it’s best to start with Ashtanga because you still have your range of motion. But for those like myself who are far in the with chronic lower back pain, Vinyasa is the best, take my word for it. The benefits are:

  • Increased strength
  • Increwased flexibility
  • Better breathing
  • Meditation techniques
  • Better movments
  • More mobility
  • A combination of lower back, hips, and sacrum.

Every night before I go to bed I practice Vinyasa. I have a DVD I use, but now that I have my routine memorized, I go by memory. You can check out my article on how to stretch out in the mornings coming soon.

Specific exercises include:

1. Child’s pose

How it helps:

  • Releases tension on your facet joints.
  • Stretches out your facet joints
  • Releives pressure off your SI joints
  • Bring blood circulation to your muscles, joints and disc of your back

How to do: 

  1. Drop n all four, into a downward facing dog position.
  2. Spread your knees out wide
  3. Keep your big toes touching the ground
  4. Bring your belly to rest between your thighs, while keeping your forehead on the ground
  5. Place your arms out in front of your, stretched out
  6. As you move forward, Inhale out, bring your body up to 90 degrees
  7. Come back to starting position slowly, exhaling
  8. Hild it for 15 seconds
  9. Repeat 3 times

2. The bridge

How it helps:

  • strengthens muscles in the knee
  • good for osteoprorosis
  • facet joint relief
  • aligns your posture

How to do: 

  1. Lie on your back
  2. Bend your knees
  3. Set your feet on the floor
  4. Exhale and raise your tailbone up, firm up your buttocks, and lift off the ground until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  5. Your knees should be kept directly over your heels
  6. Lift the upper part of your hips toward your belly.

==>See more about yoga here<==

Exercise #5. Pilates

You’ll hear this from me “a lot”…

“To improve your lower back ad joint pain, you have to work around the pain”

So in the case of your joints, you have to strengthen the muscles to secure your joints. With Pilates you’ll focus on:

  • strengthening
  • improved control over your muscles

The benefits are tremendous:

  • ease pressure on your hips-Si Joints
  • and all other joints-like your facets and knees

With Pilates you need to be careful if you have chronic lower back pain. Sudden movements can take a toll on your back problems. That’s why it’s best to start with yoga and move your way into it.

Specific exercises include:

1. Single Straight Leg Raise

Image result for single straight leg raise

How it helps:

  • strengthens muscles
  • stretches ligaments
  • keeps your hips in a fixed position

How to do: 

  1. Lie face up on your mat or the ground with your legs extended straight up
  2. Lift your head, neck and shoulders off the ground
  3. Bring your right leg in as close to your face as flexibility allows you to.
  4. Lightly, hold your right calf with both hands.
  5. Hold it for 10 seconds
  6. Come back down, and repeat once more
  7. Switch legs and repeat

To this point I’ve hit on exercises to either likely do at your gym or outdoors, but those are not your only options.

Exercise #6. Get fit at home

Your home is a place of “relief”. Key word there being relief. It’s the best time to prepare your joints for the rest of the activities to come, and the next morning.

There’s plenty of exercises you can do. Such those are:

  • cleaning
  • working in the yard. Cutting the grass, raking leaves, garden work.

It’s funny I bring that up, because with my day off today, I raked about a hundred or so pine cones in my backyard. I was continuously bending over, stretching my facet joints, and slowly getting conditioning in.

If you’re in the kitchen, reach for the can of beans in the droor, while balancing on one leg. This will increase your muscles to get stronger, and help your joints lock in position.

I listed Yoga above, and for good reason. In 2015, I took a yoga class with my Ex girlfriend. It helped me so much, and it did everything I had asked of, but I couldn’t continue paying for lessons. So I changed my circumstances.

I invested in doing yoga at home. Little did I know, it was the best decision.

The benefits include:

  • comfort
  • precise stretches before bed that helped in the morning
  • morning stretches for my day in front
  • convenient, and I could get more done at home like:
    • Finishing my studies
    • Attending to tasks at home
    • Not missing my favorites soccer match

Specific exercises include:

  1. Quadratus Lumbordum

If you find yourself sitting at your desk, dinner table or a recliner, you can do this one simple stretch.

How it helps:

  • stretches your abdominal ligaments
  • releases pressure on your facet joints

How to do:

  1. While sitting on your chair, step away from your task
  2. Lean over to the right side of your body without hunching over
  3. Move your arms to the side as you do
  4. You can hold your chairs back rest for support
  5. Hold it for 15 seconds.
  6. Switch sides and Repeat

There Is No Such Thing As A “Top Dog”

I couldn’t give you a list of the best exercise for each different form. Everyone feels pain differently, so it’s important you first check with your doctor for a plan. But once you have a foundation, you can only grow from there.

If I had to give you a top exercise I’ll list these three:

  1. Child’s Pose
  2. Single Straight Raise leg
  3. Squats Without Weights

What’ll Work For You

As the saying goes:

What works for you, will not work for everyone else.

What I can tell you is that if you haven’t started working on your joints, take the baby steps and opt for a walk with the help of supplements,. It’s really a factor when you have spinal problems.

A question I get often is:

“Can I jog with a herniated disc?”

The short answer is no. Consult with your doctor first, and figure out the right diagnosis and treatment. Your diagnosis will be a telling sign of if you can or cannot jog.

3 months into my herniated disc, I was still healing, so I couldn’t do any high impact activities. After the 5th month, I started to feel better with my low impact activities. A month and a half later, my herniated disc healed.

I continued the straight path of slow paced workouts, and eventually I tried jogging again. The key is to lay off the cement and step onto a rubber surface like a track. Less impact.

It’s Conclusive, Your Joints Will Get Better

With time, energy, and effort, you can bet on turning a weak joint into a fully equipped with every arsenal joint.

You’ve learned the joint exercises to avoid, All joint exercises step by step, the top ones, and what will work best for your condition. Now its time you take what you’ve learned here and apply it day to day. Once you start, don’t stop even when you begin to feel better.

With chronic lower back pain, it’s vital that you do these stretches on a regular basis. Its best to start 3 times a day, and evaluate how you feel thereafter. It’s difficult to find the time to exercise when your joints are continuously getting in the way of it.

If you’re having trouble with inflammation getting in the way for an exercise, and really need something to get you through, and without soreness the next day, I highly  recommend you check out HEAL-N-SOOTHE, Its the #1 long lasting anti-inflammatory supplement from the healthy back institute used by millions all around the world to find their balance back.

I use it on a daily basis, and, I couldn’t be any happier. With constant use, you will not believe you once had joint pain. You deserve to give your joints long lasting relief so you can be the one in control over how well and long you exercise, See more about heal-n-soothe here


The Remove Back Pains System

You’ve been exposed to properly treating and exercising your joint pain, now it’s time to condition and shape your muscles, and go back to your muscle imbalances in this hamstring article here.


About the author

Hi My name is Michael Granados, I am of the age of 26 years, and I’m a back pain specialist, enthusiast, and expert. All of us have had or will have lower back pain at least once in our lives, and whether it’s acute or a more chronic condition, you can depend on us here at Remove Back Pain to take great care of you. I ensure you’ll take the right and most appropriate steps for you to heal the safest and most productive way. Get ready for a better lifestyle!

    • Hi Patrick, I’m glad you’ve made that decision. You’re on the road to a much more healthier life and lifestyle. Let me know if you need an help, or have any questions and concerns. Have a great week.

  • I really love this post and the fact that it is out there to help people. I did not know that exercise was a solution to joint pain. I use to think that on the contrary a person would sit down and wait until the pain is gone because exercise would worsen the pain. Now that I read this post, I am educated and I’m sure others visiting this site will be also.
    Great informational and helpful post this is!
    David. (DygieReds)

    • Hi David. I’m here to serve. God blessed us to take care of our bodies, and I just want to give back. Exercise is absolutely #1. It aids in the recovery of joint pressure and stress, as well as mobility, and movement for everything else we need to tackle day to day. Not true. It can actually worsen it by making it more stiff. If you’re going to sit, its best to sit with the right posture, and only for minutes at a time. I know when I go to sit, I can forget about getting up sometimes, that’s why I had to purchase a cushion that would help me keep my pelvis in shape, as well as my knees, and facet joints in relief, at all times. God bless, thank you very much.

  • You hear all the time how great walking and swimming are for you but never the why. Thank you for clarifying this. I have never thought about how much exercise there is just in cleaning your house. It is something that has to be done anyway, we may as well benefit from it. Great news. Thank You for this wonderful information that I am sure will help get me in better shape and hopefully ease some back pain.

    • The “why” is so important, there’s more in it than just what you “like”, it’s more about what’s best for your joints. You’re welcome. I know right? Haha. I used to take it for granted, and especially on rainy days when I couldn’t get out to exercise. It really makes the largest differences. For sure, it’s an activity we can all work on and get better at. It’s my pleasure. I wish you all the best Maryann. Please let me know if you have any further concerns, or questions. Thank you for your time!

  • Wow, what an informative post. I do suffer from joint pain, and let me tell you, exercise is sometimes so hard to do it depresses me. I have started walking around a lake here next to my home. One thing I did to help me was take one or all my grand children with me. I focus on them instead of the joint pain and found it helps me keep a little more motivated.

    By what I read here I will try and do some more stretches as well


    • Hi Brian, I’m glad you came by, you’re in good hands here. I can relate with you. Joints can be so damaging sometimes, that even thinking about walking hurts. But that’s not going to stop you, look at you already walking like a champ. One thing i will say is that the more you continue to walk the better you will feel. Taking your mind off the pain is the key. We’re taught that most of our pain is emotionally, and it’s triggered by our brains, but when you can learn to control that department, you’ve built a long lasting foundation. If your pain is consistent, try the water if you’d like to, it’ll benefit very well. On the other hand, if you continue to experience pain on your walks, and for other exercises, I usually ask my patients if it’s chronic pain, to start with an ant-inflammatory like Penetrex It’s my go to for joint pain long term relief. The more it’a used on a constant basis, the less you’ll use it, and more you’ll be able to walk normally again, and get the strength and flexibility back. It is a little bit on the higher end price(~$19), but along with my doctor, I Back it up 100{b2e0dba9c93837a4f3ce441fa43dc3a0e947a29fe0fd2c517ea2237d7754a6d7}. Now, my other favorite is Heal-n-soothe, which destroys fibrin and replaces your depleted enzymes with more of it-from the inside out, so this way you can walk without any pain. I use them both when I can and it’s shockingly good. Just thought I’d help the most I can. Keep going strong, and let me know if you have any concerns, or questions. God Bless.

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