This quick test can help you identify pain in your joints.
When you pick something up from the floor, do you feel any pain in any of your joints? In this video, SilverSneakers fitness expert David Jack explains how this simple test can give you clues about your joint health.
You’ll need a small, light object like a pen. Try the test now, then see what your results mean below. If you have arthritis or balance issues, skip the test, but check out the tips below.
If You Didn’t Feel Any Pain
That’s a sign your joints are in good health—but don’t take this for granted. As we age, our joints can get stiffer, making it harder to bend, straighten, and move our bodies. And the cartilage in our joints can wear away, causing pain or injury.
Preserve this good health and prevent injury with these habits:
- Warm up to prepare your joints for exercise. Here’s the right way to warm up.
- Stretch regularly to increase your flexibility. See four stretches you should do every day.
- Practice safe movements. For example, breathe this way to protect your back.
If You Felt Pain in Your Shoulders, Back, Hips, Knees, or Ankles
That’s a sign you may need to improve your flexibility. A fun, easy way to do that: Take a SilverSneakers class, where a trained instructor will guide you through a variety of movements. You can also find flexibility and mobility programs for various levels on the free SilverSneakers GO app (iOS and Android).
It may also be a sign to talk to your doctor. There’s usually a reason why you’re in pain and something that can be done about it. To make your conversation easier, jot down your symptoms:
- Where you are experiencing the pain
- When the pain started and how often it occurs
- Any other symptoms you are experiencing
If You Have Arthritis or Have Had Joint Replacement Surgery
Worried that you’ll hurt yourself if you exercise with arthritis? It turns out, staying as active as you can may be the best thing you do for your health—and to manage pain. Check out our guide to the dos and don’ts of exercising with arthritis.
If you have had joint replacement surgery or are recovering from an injury, working with your doctor or physical therapist can help you resume activity safely. Ask these questions:
- Do I need additional medical treatment or physical therapy?
- When can I start exercising on my own again?
- What types of exercise are appropriate for me, and what types should I avoid?
Want More Quick, Fun Tests?
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