Arthritis is a condition that affects at least one in three Americans. Arthritis isn’t just the osteoarthritic condition that may have affected Grandmother but instead also includes Lupus, Gout, inflammatory arthritic conditions and arthritis as a result of injury or metabolic conditions.
Without treatment or therapy the pain can lead to a functional loss. This means that the pain will result in a disability that doesn’t allow the sufferer to do some of the tasks of daily living such as climbing stairs, grocery shopping or bathing.
There are ways to manage the pain and discomfort and one of those that are cost effective are exercises. Exercise is but one of many natural remedies for arthritis pain. But not just any exercise. These are exercises that are designed for the individual to maintain their mobility and decrease the degeneration and inflammation in the joints.
Before starting any exercise program a person who suffers from arthritis should consult with their physician. An exercise program will be designed around information about the extent of the damage to the joints, pain, inflammation, x-ray changes, and the stability of the joints. The healthcare practitioner will also take into account whether there was a joint replacement.
Studies show that people with chronic pain are helped by exercise programs (ex. Yoga for Arthritis). The programs appear to help reduce the pain, stiffness and increase the flexibility, strength and endurance. These exercise programs have been a successful treatment for degenerative disc disease, a type of arthritis involving the spine, and also help patients to reduce their weight and improve their sense of well being.
Weight reduction is an important aspect of the treatment of patients with arthritis. Reducing the weight will help to decrease chronic pain and reduce the loss of mobility because the more weight a person carries the more weight the joint must support and cushion.
Developing an exercise plan is an important part of the entire comprehensive rehabilitation plan for people with arthritis. The plan should also include rest, relaxation, proper nutrition, medications and learning how to use the joints correctly that will decrease the energy use and improve the functional mobility.
There are three different types of exercises that are appropriate for people with arthritis. Those three types are range of motion, aerobics and strengthening exercising. Range of motion exercises will help work the joint through the normal range of the joint to help maintain or increase the flexibility of the joint.
Strengthening exercises will keep or increase the muscle strength that supports the joints that are affected. Aerobics or endurance exercises will not only improve the cardiovascular fitness, weight control and improve overall function. Today, fitness clubs and weight rooms will offer programs and fitness instruction to people who have limited mobility.
Before starting a program discuss your plans with a doctor, consult a physical therapist or a qualified trainer. Using these methods to decrease pain and discomfort can backfire if the exercises are done inappropriately. For instance, knowing the correct way to stretch your muscles, after they are warmed up, will help to decrease injury suffered during first workouts. Always start new programs slowly, especially weight programs, to decrease the risk of further injuring the joints or causing so much discomfort that you’re unwilling to continue to use exercise in the rehabilitation program.
When exercising if there is pain that lasts for more than 1 hour then the exercise is too strenuous. If there is persistent fatigue, increased weakness, decreased range of motion or continued pain or swelling – stop the program immediately and consult with the doctor.
Arthritis exercise programs are an integral part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program for people who suffer from arthritis and chronic joint pain. Using this method to decrease pain and increase flexibility will help to improve overall function and mobility over time. Decreased function didn’t happen overnight so don’t expect that improvements will be instantaneous.Arthritis Exercises,
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