Physical activity helps people with arthritis reduce pain and increase range of motion. But how does movement work in your body to help your joints?
Synovial fluid lubricates the joint.
The joint is surrounded by soft tissue called the synovial membrane, which produces a fluid that acts like oil in an engine, allowing your bones to move past one another more smoothly. Physical activity encourages circulation of the fluid, says Susan Sterling, an instructor at the Cooper Institute, a preventive medicine research and education nonprofit in Dallas.