In this period of confinement, it is important to continue to keep our joints in motion. Why ? Joints are complex components of our body that are involved in every movement we make, hundreds of times a day. If they don’t move enough, they won’t function properly and consequences on our well-being are inevitable. Joint mobility is an essential factor of their function. That’s why we’ve prepared this article to describe joint mobility and offer tips on how to maintain or improve it, even during these exceptionnal times that we are going through.

What is joint mobility?

Joint mobility refers to the range of motion that a joint can perform. It is therefore the ability of a joint to move along its functional axes. The stability of a joint is another important concept since it refers to the ability of a joint to maintain a position for a certain length of time.

Several components play a role in joint mobility. It is important to become familiar with them to better understand what habits should be developed to improve joint mobility.

  • Characteristics of joints: There are several types of joints in our body, which determine the functional axes of a joint. A hinge joint (e.g., elbows) allows lateral movements up and down, but limits movement to the sides. A ball joint (e.g., shoulders) allows a single joint to move in all directions.
  • Joint structures: The joints themselves have several components that contribute to their mobility. Synovial fluid protects the bones of a joint by lubricating the cartilage. Ligaments, on the other hand, hold the joints in their normal axes.
  • Muscles: Muscles are connected to the joints by tendons. The elasticity and strength of the muscles and tendons have an impact on the mobility of the joints.
  • Nervous system: It sends signals relating to the stability of the joints, which unconsciously influence their mobility.

Tips for promoting joint mobility

Now that you are aware of the different structures in the body involved in joint mobility, here are some tips on how to improve it by acting on the different structures.

Stretching

It is definitely THE thing to do on a regular basis to improve joint mobility. This can be easily added to your daily routine, in the morning per example. It has many benefits for your muscles, and they contributes to joint mobility. There are two main types of stretching: static and ballistic. Stretching aims to improve the elasticity of muscles and tendons.

Static stretching consists in maintaining a movement of great amplitude with a joint for 30-60 seconds and with 2-3 repetitions of the same stretch. There will be some mild discomfort, but this type of stretching helps to improve muscle flexibility. Ballistic stretching, on the other hand, consists in a movement of great amplitude repeated 10 to 15 times for each side of the body. Ballistic stretching can be performed as warm-up before physical activity.

Improving the quality of joint components

Manual stimulation of the muscles surrounding the joints, as with a massage or the use of a foam roller to relax the muscles, can have a direct impact on the quality of the structures that play a role in joint mobility. Also, keeping your body well hydrated and regular physical activity can help maintain the quality of the synovial fluid (lubricant within the joints) or other components such as tendons.

Performing full range of motion exercises

Giving our joints the opportunity to perform wide-ranging movements allows them to gradually get used to new positions, while improving their stability to offer them more mobility. Sports such as yoga or Pilates offer the opportunity to discover new ranges of motion for important joints such as the hips, knees and shoulders. In addition, these sports can be performed in a supervised setting and variations of the same exercise can be suggested according to everyone’s mobility.

Free yoga classes can be found on Youtube. There is also many Yoga Apps for your mobile or tablet that can be download and use to help you reach your goals.

Taking supplements for joint health

Genacol offers a whole range of supplements aimed at maintaining or improving joint health. Our Genacol Plus product contains AminoLock Collagen, which allows the regeneration of cartilage within the joints, in addition to containing glucosamine, which improves the quality of the synovial fluid, essential to the proper functioning of the joints.