There are few pains as constant and niggling as an achy, sore joint. And though it may certainly seem outlandish to think of as you sit there in pain, exercise is actually crucial for people with arthritis. It increases the strength and flexibility of the joint, reduces join pain, and helps keep your energy levels up and combats fatigue.
But while that's easy to say, the thought of even a short walk or dip into the pool may seem like daunting tasks.
Fret not, for you don't have to go run for miles or swim across one of the great lakes to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and joint pain. Even a little bit of exercise goes a long way when it comes to easing pain and helping to keep off those pounds that are so hard on your joints.
Exercise can help you improve your health and fitness without hurting your joints. With your current treatment program, exercise can:
Strengthen the muscles around your joints
Help you maintain bone strength
Give you more energy to get through the day
Make it easier to get a good night's sleep
Help you control your weight
Enhance your quality of life
Improve your balance
It's easy to think that exercise will inflame the joint pain and make it even stiffer, but that's not quite true. Lack of movement in the joint will certainly attribute more than otherwise when it comes to keeping you painful and locked up.
And the reason for that is because keeping the muscles and tissue surrounding the joint strong is crucial to supporting your bones and joints. Not exercising weakens those tissue and muscle, which creates more stress on the joint itself.
Consulting a physician is the obvious first step in finding a good workout routine to help your joints. They can help you fit the right exercises into your fitness plan depending on the type of joint pain and which joints are involved. It's crucial to get the most benefit out of the workout while creating the least aggravation of your joint pain.
But there are a few general rules for working out for joint pain when it comes to strength training, range of motion exercise, or aerobic exercise.
For strength training, these are the exercises that help you build up the muscles that support and protect your joints. But make sure not to work the same muscle groups two days in a row, and to take an extra day or two of rest if your joints become too painful.
For Aerobic exercise, endurance training helps with your overall fitness and cardiovascular health, helping you to control your weight and keep that stress off of your joint. Moderate intensity aerobic exercise needs to be done consistently, preferably most days of the week, to reap the greatest benefit.
And finally, there's the range of motion workouts. Exercises like these relieve stiffness and increase the, well, range of motion that you can move your joints through. These are usually simple, like raising your arms over your head or rolling your shoulders forward and backwards. These can usually be done every day.