For some individuals, a thyroid disorder may be the culprit of their aching joints, weakness, and tenderness. Possible symptoms of a thyroid disorder include joint pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling.
Hypothyroidism greatly affects your metabolism, or how your body converts food into energy. If your metabolism is influenced by your thyroid levels it will likely play a role in how your muscles feel. Similarly, hypothyroidism has been known in some cases to cause fluid in the joints. This fluid can result in a host of unpleasant joint symptoms.
Hypothyroidism can, unfortunately, cause a few different rheumatic disorders as well. Studies are beginning to show that autoimmune disorders seem to come in pairs. Doctors are unsure as to why, but if you have one autoimmune disorder you may have a higher chance of developing another.
One such disorder is rheumatoid arthritis. This autoimmune disease is characterized by your bodily incorrectly addressing your joints as invaders or radicals. Your body attacks your joints and causes them to swell, become stiff, and painful.
Other hypothyroidism diseases that can cause discomfort in your joints and muscles are hypothyroid arthritis, hypothyroid nerve disease, and hypothyroid muscle disease. Though somewhat rare, if you are experiencing joint or muscle pain it is a good idea to visit your medical professional.
Exercise, including aerobics, strength training, and stretching, is a great way to increase mobility and decrease joint pain. The movements and suggestions below will help you to become more flexible and find some relief for your joints. Before beginning any exercise routine, consult with your physician.
High-intensity exercises, especially those with jumping and jarring movements, can be hard and painful on your joints. Stick to low-intensity exercises such as walking or even riding a bike. Another great aerobic option is swimming or pool-based fitness classes.
The water resistance will provide you with a great workout as well as being gentle on your joints. Some exercise is better than no exercise, so whatever amount of physical activity you can take part in is beneficial.
Strengthening your muscles will allow them to provide stability and support for your joints, easing discomfort. Start slow as your balance and form may not yet be that great. In the beginning, it can be helpful to perform exercises with only your bodyweight before moving to dumbells or weighted objects.
Consider trying squats or lunges for the knees, leg lifts for your hips, and gentle arm circles for your shoulders. Slow and short repetitions a few days a week are great for beginners.
Yoga can help build muscle without using weights. It can also improve your balance and posture to maintain joint health. Additionally, it can be quite relaxing. When you are stressed you are more likely to hold tension in your joints, this could lead to aches and pains.
There are many different types of yoga practices. Beginners might want to try a slower-paced yoga style such as a restorative flow. As you improve you may want to take on a faster-paced practice such as Hatha.
Pendulum - place on hand on the top of a table or sturdy surface that is about hip height. Let the other arm dangle as you lean slightly forward. Begin moving the hanging arm in small, slow, circular motions (like a pendulum). The circles can become bigger as your joint relaxes. Complete on both sides.
L stretch- begin on your knees in front of a bench or even the couch. Place one arm straight out in front of you in line with your head and neck. “Thread” the other arm underneath the extended arm across your chest. Gently lean into the shoulder of the arm across your chest. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Shoulder Flexion- begin on your knees in front of a bench, couch, or elevated surface. Extend both arms out in front of you in line with your head and neck. Look down towards the floor and slowly press your chest towards the ground. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
Knee Lift- lie on your back on the ground or another firm surface. Lift one leg and grab just below your knee with both arms. Gently pull your knee into your chest, keeping the other leg as straight as possible. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Double Hip Rotation- lie on your back on the ground or another firm surface. Bring both legs up and into a ninety-degree position so that your thighs are perpendicular to your torso. Slowly lower both legs to one side, trying to keep your shoulders and upper body on the ground. Hold for 15 seconds and drop your legs to the other side, holding and then returning to center.
Hamstring Stretch- stand on one foot, hold onto a wall for balance if necessary. Place the other foot out in front of you, heel on the ground and toes up. Slowly lean forward at your hips towards the lifted toes of your outstretched leg. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Calf Stretch- stand facing a wall about six inches or so away. Place the toes of one foot about three to four inches up the wall, so you are resting on your heel. Gently lean towards the wall, you should feel a stretch in your calf. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Quad Stretch- stand on one foot, using a wall for balance if necessary. Reach behind you with one arm and grab the ankle or toes of the foot on the same side (right arm grabbing your right ankle). Gently pull your heel towards your buttocks. Press your hips forward and do not round your back. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Cat/Cow Stretch- begin on all fours on the floor or a firm surface. Slowly move into the “cat position” by rounding your back, rolling through your spine and drawing your hips up while moving your chin towards your chest. Then gently move into the “cow” pose by pressing your hips and belly towards the floor and looking up towards the ceiling.
You can also return to a flat-backed position, or neutral, and begin to move through cat and cow in a circular motion. Swinging your hips and chest to the side and coming up into cat, then down into cow as you swing the other way. Slowly perform circles in a clockwise direction, then change to a counter-clockwise direction. This movement variation will stretch your shoulders, spine, and hips.
Taking part in a variety of aerobic exercise, strength movements, and stretching techniques will help to strengthen and support your joints, increase mobility, and decrease pain.
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