As one of the most common causes of chronic pain, arthritis impacts the lives of millions of people. For most arthritis sufferers, there is no single solution to help them deal with the condition. Instead, it takes a much broader approach to help manage issues like pain and mobility.
Among the various arthritis pain relief options, exercise and physical therapy happen to be some of the most effective. When it comes to people who cope with arthritis, exercise can provide benefits like helping them lose weight, strengthen muscles near the joints, maintain and restore range of motion, maintain bone strength and improve balance.
While starting an exercise regimen can be one of the best decisions for a person with arthritis, it is not something you want to jump into without careful consideration. If you are not careful, you could worsen your condition. It is advised that you consult with your doctor before starting an exercise routine for arthritis. With several options featuring direct access to physical therapy in New York, and across the country, there are many professionals to help make your condition more manageable.
Types of Exercises
Depending on the type and location of your arthritis, there is a broad array of exercises that may be appropriate. The following are some of the types of exercises that can be beneficial for people who suffer from arthritis pain:
Strength training can be good for arthritis because you can build the muscles that support the arthritic joint. Lightweight training is often recommended for people with arthritis. If weight training is a part of your exercise routine, it is important to allow for days of rest. If you do weight training one day, you can certainly do other types of exercise the next day, but the targeted muscle group should be allowed at least a day to recover.
Range of Motion
An arthritic joint can get stiff and lose some of its range of motion over time. Fortunately, there are exercises that can prevent this and restore lost range of motion. Many range-of-motion exercises have the individual gently work the joint through its full range of motion. These exercises can often be done every day.
With aerobic exercise, you can improve your overall fitness, control your weight and build your endurance. Some of the best aerobic exercises for arthritis include walking, swimming and cycling. Even just 10-15 minutes a day of aerobic exercise can make a big difference for a person who has arthritis.
If you have arthritis, you are going to need to take some steps to protect your joints. For people who are new to exercise, the best tip is to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Beyond that, there are several things you can do to protect against further injury.
- Stick to low-impact exercises to avoid putting too much stress on the joints.
- Warm up with some stretches before being active.
- Focus on exercises that use slow, gentle movements.
- Applying heat can be a good way to loosen up joints and muscles before you exercise.
- Icing your joints can relieve pain after exercise.
- Don’t push yourself too hard and listen to your body.
Check with your doctor or physical therapist before starting an exercise regimen and before adding anything new to your routine. They will know which exercises are right for your condition and be able to help you build a plan that is safe and effective.