There are many different types of joint pain (including the hundreds of types of arthritis) and many different ways to treat the often extreme discomfort associated with physical conditions of that nature.
While your own orthopedic doctor or arthritis specialist will need to diagnose your specific condition in order to develop a custom treatment plan and address pain management, potential surgery and long-term recovery, there are many different ways that you too can support your own mobility and flexibility right now – and it can be fun!
Dance Therapy for Improved Joint Function
Dance exercise therapy, for example, has been around for many decades and has become quite popular across all age groups – from zoomers to boomers. The best part? The benefits to overall health (from reduced discomfort to improved mobility) are significant.
In a study published in the 2014 issue of Geriatric Nursing, for example, senior adults who took a 45-minute dance therapy class at least twice a week reported less overall knee and hip pain and indicated they were able to walk faster after just three months. Those are results worth exploring further.
Why is dance therapy such a useful way to improve joint function?
Dancing provides an excellent opportunity to improve balance and strengthen muscle simultaneously, but that’s only the beginning of the benefits dance therapy provides. Combining music and movement is enjoyable and that’s one of the primary reasons that people continue their exercise programs.
Who should consider dance therapy?
Dancing is great exercise at any age, but the right program for you does depend greatly on the orthopedic condition of the patient. The key is finding the right style. The ideal dance therapy program will be one that is low-impact (minimal stress on joints and encouraging fluid movements).
How can I start dance therapy?
While the benefits of dance can be achieved independently and in the comfort of your own home, there are many reputable programs that you could consider – you just have to get out there and look for opportunities to move your body in a way that won’t put undue pressure on your joints and will get your heart pumping.
Music & Movement
Whether it’s a modified version of Zumba, a Jazzercise class or perhaps a more formal program such as the Lebed method, what makes dance therapy so useful in joint therapy is that it can be both aerobic (increasing blood flow does promote healing) and low impact. For those experiencing some form of knee, hip, or shoulder pain, a formal diagnosis of your condition should be scheduled with a highly qualified orthopedic surgeon such as Dr. Van Thiel.