Arthritis and Exercise
There are a number of exercises for arthritis that have been shown to reduce joint pain and stiffness, increase flexibility and muscle strength, and help with weight reduction, among other things. People with arthritis can participate in a number of different exercises, including range-of-motion exercises, strengthening exercises, and aerobic or endurance exercises. It is important to find the exercise program you enjoy most, and stick with it.
An Overview of Arthritis and ExerciseArthritis is a term used to describe over 100 conditions. These conditions may cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints and other supporting structures of the body, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Some types of arthritis can also affect other parts of the body, including various internal organs. In this article, the term arthritis will be used as a general term to refer to many different types of arthritis.
Many people with arthritis wonder if it is okay to exercise. The short answer is absolutely. Studies have shown that exercise helps people with arthritis in many ways. Exercise has been shown to:
- Reduce joint pain and stiffness
- Increase flexibility and muscle strength
- Improve cardiac fitness and endurance
- Help with weight reduction
- Contribute to an improved sense of well-being.
There are a number of different treatment options for arthritis, and exercise is one that should be used as part of a comprehensive arthritis treatment plan. Treating arthritis may also involve rest and relaxation, proper diet, arthritis medication, and instruction about the proper use of joints and ways to conserve energy (that is, not waste motion), as well as the use of pain-relief methods.
But everyone is a little different, so the amount and form of arthritis exercises recommended for each individual can vary based on:
- Which joints are involved
- The amount of inflammation
- How stable the joints are
- Whether a joint replacement procedure has been done.