Studies have shown that exercise helps people with arthritis in many ways. Exercise reduces joint pain and stiffness and increases flexibility, muscle strength, cardiac fitness, and endurance. It also helps with weight reduction and contributes to an improved sense of well-being.
Exercise is one part of a comprehensive arthritis treatment plan. Treatment plans also may include rest and relaxation, proper diet, medication, and instruction about proper use of joints and ways to conserve energy (that is, not waste motion) as well as the use of pain relief methods. Range-of-motion exercises help maintain normal joint movement and relieve stiffness. This type of exercise helps maintain or increase flexibility. Range-of-motion exercises can be done daily and should be done at least every other day.
Strengthening exercises help keep or increase muscle strength. Strong muscles help support and protect joints affected by arthritis. Strengthening exercises should be done every other day unless you have severe pain or swelling in your joints. The best type of strengthening program varies depending on personal preference, the type of arthritis involved, and how active the inflammation is. Strengthening one’s muscles can help take the burden off painful joints. Strength training can be done with small free weights, exercise, isometrics, elastic bands, and resistive water exercises. Correct positioning is critical, because if done incorrectly, strengthening exercises can cause muscle tears, more pain, and more joint swelling.
Aerobic or endurance exercises improve cardiovascular fitness, help control weight, and improve overall function. Weight control can be important to people who have arthritis because extra weight puts extra pressure on many joints. Some studies show that aerobic exercise can reduce inflammation in some joints. Endurance exercises should be done for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week unless you have severe pain or swelling in your joints. According to the, 20- to 30-minute exercise routines can be performed in increments of 10 minutes over the course of a day.
There are known methods to help stop pain for short periods of time. This temporary relief can make it easier for people who have arthritis to exercise. The doctor or physical therapist can suggest a method that is best for each patient. For more details visit http://www.soundbodytrainer.com/