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Is Exercise Important for People with Arthritis?
Friday, January 11, 2019

Exercise is essential for people suffering from arthritis. It increases flexibility and strength, reduces pain in joints and helps to combat fatigue. However, when painful and stiff joints are bringing you down already, the thought of running around the track or swimming can seem overwhelming.

Exercise doesn’t mean you have to swim like Michael Phelps or run like Usain Bolt to reduce arthritis pain. Even simple, moderate exercises can help reduce your pain. When it seems like arthritis is immobilizing you, exercise to keep yourself moving. If you are still on the fence about exercising with arthritis, read this post to get a nudge in the right direction.

Why Exercising in Arthritis is Essential?

Fitness and health of people can improve with exercise without it affecting their joints. While a patient is following a treatment program for arthritis, exercise can:
  • Help maintain bone strength
  • Strengthen muscles around the joints
  • Give more energy
  • Help control weight
  • Improve balance
  • Enhance quality of life
Some people think that exercise will increase their joint stiffness and pain, that’s not really the case. If you don’t exercise, your joints can become even more stiff and painful. That is because keeping the muscles and tissues strong is essential to maintain support for the bones. Avoiding exercise will weaken the supporting muscles and create more stress on the joints.

Consulting with Your Health Practitioner

Exercise is important for you, but you shouldn’t do it without consulting a doctor first. Ask your health practitioner about whether you should exercise or not. If they recommend it, ask them to fit some exercise into the treatment plan. There are various kinds of exercises and the ones that’ll be right for you depend on the type of arthritis as well as the joints involved.

Your physical therapist or health practitioner can tell you the exercises that are most beneficial for you and won’t aggravate your pain.

Exercises for People with Arthritis

A physical therapist or doctor may recommend these kinds of exercises:

Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening exercise will strengthen your muscle to help protect and support your joints. Weight training and cycling are examples of strengthening exercises. Remember to not exercise the same groups of muscles every day. Rest is essential between workouts.

Range of Motion Exercises

Range of motion exercises relieve stiffness of joints and increase the ability of moving joints through the complete range of motion. Movements like raising the arm over the shoulder or rolling the shoulder forward and backward are examples of these exercises.

Other Activities

Daily activities like raking leaves, mowing the garden and walking your dog count will also help reduce stiffness. In addition, tai chi or yoga can help improve your balance, improve coordination and posture, promote relaxation and prevent falls.

Exercise can surely help reduce stiffness and strengthen your muscles to reduce arthritis pain. However, it is important not to overdo any exercise. Consult with your health practitioner and ask them for a detailed exercise plan.

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