How To Improve Joint Mobility and Stability: What is Their Relationship

Joints are like the switches of the body, allowing muscles to communicate and work together. Without them, muscles would be a tangled mess of disjointed parts, unable to coordinate effectively or accomplish anything.

Achieving a balance between joint mobility and stability is crucial as joints play a dual role: they maintain the body’s stability, facilitating coordinated movement, and they also enable flexibility for free movement. Excessive mobility or stability can lead to problems, but when there’s an equilibrium, it promotes optimal performance and lowers the risk of injury.

In this article, we’ll delve into the significance of joint mobility and stability, exploring the ten primary joints and offering insights on how to enhance them.


The 10 Main Joints

Your body is made up of many different types of joints. 10 in particular are especially important when considering your mobility and stability. 

The mobility joints are:

1. Ankle
2. Hip
3. Thoracic Spine
4. Shoulder
5. Wrist

The stability joints are:

6. Foot
7. Knee
8. Lumbar Spine
9. Cervical Spine
10. Elbow

And each joint has a primary role and an overlapping secondary role.

Relationship between joint mobility and stability

What is Joint Stability and Mobility?

Firstly, Joint Stability: Imagine your joint as the anchor holding a ship steady amidst the waves. It’s all about maintaining that fixed position and resisting any unexpected movements that could throw you off balance. Strong ligaments and muscles are like the sturdy ropes and pulleys, providing essential support and keeping everything in place. However, it’s not just about being rigid; a stable joint also needs to have the flexibility to adapt and move when necessary.

Now, Joint Mobility: Picture your joint as a well-oiled hinge, smoothly gliding through its full range of motion. This is where joint mobility comes into play. It’s all about fluidity, allowing your joints to move freely without any restrictions. To achieve optimal mobility, your ligaments and muscles need to strike the perfect balance – strong enough to power through movements, yet flexible enough to allow for effortless motion.

Together they work in harmony to give you a full range of motion so you can enjoy your day. However, in some instances the harmony is lost and you could experience impaired movement or even pain.

Why Mobility and Stability Matters

Creating harmonious joint mobility and stability is critical for optimal performance in any physical activity. An unhealthy range of motion leads to overextension or the inability to extend the joint, where both can lead to pain and strain on the surrounding structures, such as ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Instead, by having a balance between joint mobility and stability, you can help reduce the risk of injury or dysfunction by providing the body with a stable foundation when moving.

For instance, overextension or hypermobility could lead to the weakening of the muscles surrounding the joints. Conversely, an overly tight joint can lead to a restricted range of motion or stiffness due to either a lack of flexibility or weakened muscles. This can cause pain and lead to an increased risk of injury by limiting the body’s range of motion. Not to mention, joint stiffness can result in joint degeneration over time, manifesting as pain, loss of function, and reduced endurance.

Preventing this is why mobility and stability are so important. Having an appropriate balance between joint mobility and stability allows for fluid movement and proper posture, reducing the risk of injury.

How To Improve Your Mobility, Stability, and Flexibility

Luckily your body is amazing at adapting, repairing and improving. The key here to get you on track is starting with a few simple exercises that can help improve your joint mobility, stability, and flexibility. Here are 4 exercises that you can try.

1. SMR Exercises

SMR or self-myofascial release are exercises that focus on the fascia surrounding muscles and joints that help to break up any adhesions while promoting proper blood flow. 

Foam rollers and tennis balls can be very effective in massaging and releasing your tight muscles and adhesions. Why not try this SMR exercise:

Thoracic Spine Extension

1. Lie on your back with a foam roller horizontally under your shoulder blades.
2. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Position your hands behind your head and bring your chin to your chest.
3. Lean back onto the foam roller and inhale. As you exhale, use your core to lift the upper body off the foam roller while extending the thoracic spine as fas back as you can.
4. Hold the position for a few seconds and then repeat the same movement.
5. Do this exercise for 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps.

2. Mobility Exercises

These exercises help to improve the performance and range of motion while reducing the risk of injury. These could be very helpful to you if you are experiencing impaired mobility or stiffness.

Squat to Stand

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands by your sides.
2. Bend forward at the hip joint and squat down while placing your hands on your feet in front of you.
3. Inhale and exhale as you stand up while stretching your arms up and back.
4. Hold this pose for a few seconds then bring your hands back to your sides.
5. Repeat this exercise for 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps.

3. Activation Exercises

The goal of activation exercises is to improve the relationship between joint mobility and stability. These exercises help stimulate the nervous system, which is responsible for transmitting signals to the muscles to contract and relax. By strengthening the muscle groups around a particular joint, activation exercises can help improve posture, balance, and stability while reducing the risk of injury.

Try this activation exercise:

Fire Hydrant

1. Start in a four-point position on the floor with your hands and knees shoulder-width apart.
2. Lift your right knee off the ground and hold for a few seconds.
3. Bring your right knee slightly out to the side, then return it down to the ground.
4. Repeat this exercise for 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps on each side.

4. Flexibility Exercises

Flexibility exercises or stretches will help to increase your flexibility while improving your joint’s range of motion. Furthermore, they are incredibly important for improving posture, reducing the risk of injury, and improving overall performance.

Here is an exercise you may want to try:

Two-Knee Twist

1. Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms spread out to the sides.
2. Bend your knees and place them together so that the bottoms of your feet are together.
3. Allow your knees to fall to the right side while you exhale and twist your body by reaching across with your left arm.
4. Hold this stretch for a few seconds and then repeat the same movement on the other side.
5. Do this exercise for 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps.

What if these exercises don’t work?

If you are suffering from joint pain that is not responding to conservative treatment, consult your healthcare provider about your options. Potentially there are many minimally invasive treatments open to you such as ReActiv8® – Restorative Neurostimulation Therapy: it can help improve joint function while offering pain relief for those looking for relief from lower back pain.

ReActiv8® – Restorative Neurostimulation Therapy To Treat Mechanical Chronic Low Back Pain

Joint mobility and stability are essential components of overall physical health. By understanding the importance of these two factors, you can become proactive in improving your well-being. The use of SMR, mobility, activation, and flexibility exercises can help improve joint mobility, stability, and flexibility. Taking this ardent approach will help stave off injury and dysfunction, preventing the occurrence of pain such as lower back pain.

If you suffer from lower back pain due to mechanical dysfunction, ReActiv8® is a restorative neurostimulation therapy that helps provide relief. This innovative patented technology uses muscle stimulation to improve your joint function, resulting in long-lasting pain relief and better quality of life.