When warming up the body, whether it’s first thing in the morning or before an intense workout, the primary goal is to promote the lotions in the joint that reduce irritation. This lotion known as synovia or synovial fluid has the principal role to reduce friction between the articular cartilage of synovial joints (ex: your knees) during movement. Just as a car engine needs oil to keep its moving parts from wearing out or freezing up, the movable joints of the body need to be kept well oiled.
The inner membrane of synovial joints is called the synovial membrane and secretes synovial fluid into the joint cavity. This fluid forms a thin layer at the surface of cartilage and seeps into microcavities and irregularities in the articular cartilage surface, filling all empty space. The synovial membrane is found only in synovial joints, which are the most common body joints in humans. Types of synovial joints include the knees, elbows, shoulders, wrists and hips.
During movement, the synovial fluid held in the cartilage is squeezed out mechanically to maintain a layer of fluid on the cartilage surface (so-called weeping lubrication). The functions of the synovial fluid include:
When the joint is dehydrated, it begins to feel stiff and achy. Most commonly felt first thing in the morning or at the end of the day after the adrenals have calmed. Also, when there is drastic change in the barometric pressure (rain, rain go away), that achiness worsens which makes the need for synovial fluid even greater.
So, what’s the best way to promote synovial fluid? Begin with short arc or small range of motion exercises and build into larger movement patterns. Don’t start your day with jumping jacks or a sunrise salutation. Warm up with short arcs, then work into these large range of motion activities.
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