Why Exercising With Arthritis Is Important

May 16th, 2019 Becki Andrus

Exercising With Arthritis

The list of benefits that you can receive from making sure that you exercise on a regular basis is enormous. This has been discussed in a previous article and remains vitally important for anyone who is physically capable of maintaining a workout regimen. This is also true for anyone who is experiencing any form of arthritis, which is an inflammation and stiffness of the joints.

According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), 54.4 million adults in the U.S. are affected by arthritis, and there are over 100 different types of arthritis and associated diseases. However, the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and fibromyalgia.

If you or someone that you know is contending with some form of arthritis, it will be beneficial to understand that there is no need to avoid physical activity. Even if you are currently experiencing a certain degree of discomfort or stiffness in any of your joints, the recommendation for exercise is not meant to suggest that you should attempt to become an elite-level athlete. Instead, it involves the benefits that you will receive from remaining active.

The Advantages Of Exercising With Arthritis

Regular exercise will improve your health, and will not create any further issues with your joints – providing that you choose movements that are most efficient for your specific situation.

First, it is always recommended that you discuss any potential workout regimen with a doctor who is knowledgeable about your background, your current state of health, and the type of movements that would be most sensible for you on a regular basis. Then you can follow the exercise plan that has been created in coordination with your physician and possibly a physical therapist (if necessary). That will enable you to receive the benefits of a regular program without posing a problem for your joints.

The benefits of exercising with arthritis include: 

  • Improving the strength of your muscles
  • Sustaining the strength of your bones
  • Boosting your energy level
  • Controlling your weight
  • Improving your balance
  • Enhancing your ability to sleep
  • Increasing your self-esteem
  • Reducing the risk of depression
  • Raising your quality of life

It is actually a lack of exercise that will increase the risk of further problems with your health and your joints. Not only will you lose strength in your muscles and the nearby tissue by failing to keep them active through physical movement, but the lack of activity will also place more pressure on your joints.  

The CDC has recommended a group of tips concerning the process of exercising with arthritis, including a reminder to start slowly and to progress through an increase in your activities slowly. It will be helpful to maintain this mindset when you are just beginning a new exercise regimen because it is important that you begin gradually. It will also be important to remain deliberate in your activities rather than attempting to exercise in ways that become overly strenuous.

It is also important to alter your exercises if you are contending with discomfort on a particular day. The routine that you have chosen should also be accommodating to your joints, which is far more likely if you have consulted with a physician who can help you construct the most effective regimen.

Exercises For Arthritis

Since every individual who is experiencing some form of arthritis will have his or her own specific situation, the collection of potential ways in which you can exercise with arthritis will be discussed in general terms.

Once you have developed an exercise strategy with the assistance of your doctor and (possibly) a physical therapist, you can proceed with the most logical set of physical activities or workouts that make sense for you.

These could include movements that involve range-of-motion, which might involve exercises such as rolling your shoulders backward and forward or raising your arms over your head. This would be designed to reduce any stiffness that you might be feeling while also expanding the range with which you can make your movements. In most cases, these exercises can be done on a daily basis.

Some exercises might be designed to boost your strength. Weight training is one possibility that would build your muscles, and any type of strengthening regimen can be continued without creating an issue for your joints if you make sure that it is not done on a daily basis. Usually, a program that you follow either two or three days each week will remain effective.

You could also be able to exercise by walking, swimming, or biking. Or, you might also be capable of maintaining regular cardiovascular-related workouts on equipment such as an elliptical, treadmill, or stair stepper.

Regardless of the specific activities that you become involved with, it is important that you minimize the impact on your joints. As a reminder, it is also recommended that you move slowly in order to minimize the chances of aggravating your joints.

At Orthopedic Associates, We Are Here To Help

At Orthopedic Associates, we want you to enjoy your daily activities. That includes involvement with your jobs, or any type of sports or recreational activity that you prefer. It also applies to anyone who is contending with arthritis. If you encounter discomfort or have a concern about anything that might keep you from being involved in physical activity, we are here to assist you. Because it is our goal that you will return to pain-free participation in the activities and lifestyle that you enjoy.  

That is why Orthopedic Associates offers a full spectrum of musculoskeletal care, along with in-house physical sports therapy, and state-of-the-art-technology including our digital imaging and open MRI, and an on-site surgical center for more patient convenience.

Our board-certified doctors have been practicing medicine for a combined total of 183 years. This includes expertise in sports medicine, through which our physicians provide personalized care for a broad range of sports-related injuries – big or small.

In addition to the services that we provide that are related to Sports Medicine and In-House Imaging, our physicians are always available to utilize their knowledge to help you should you require joint replacement or arthroscopic surgery. Our specialists are also here to assist with physical therapy, rehabilitation, and orthopedic trauma.

We encourage you to visit one of our Orthopedic Associates two locations or request an appointment today to be on your way to feeling better.

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