If you are in joint pain, it is nature to avoid doing things that aggravate it. There’s a temptation to skip exercising for patients with arthritis. It may harm more than help. A properly designed exercise may often decrease your pain, improve your quality of life , and it can do wonders for daily mood.
“Everybody can do something,” says Perry Fine, MD, a board member at the American Pain Foundation. Exercise “does actually allow people not only to reduce their perception of pain but to overcome limited functioning.”
During A Flare-Up
Of course, you need to listen to your body when during a flare-up. It is important to avoid doing strenuous movement. You can also try very gentle muscle-strengthening exercises. Just remember to pace yourself and consulting your family doctor for advice.
Types of workout
A review of the benefits of exercise for people with osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis) found that strength training, water-based exercise, and balance therapy were the most helpful for decreasing pain and improving function. “Swimming or bicycling tend to be better tolerated than other types of exercise among individuals with arthritis in the hips or knees,” says rheumatologist Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, associate professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The exercise you choose should ideally help with:
- Stretching exercises – to stretch and maintain or improve the joint’s range of motion and flexibility
- Strengthening exercises– to help strengthen the muscles, provide stability to the joint and improve your ability to perform daily tasks
- Cardiovascular fitness – to improve the condition of your heart, lungs and circulation, to increase body metabolism and to make muscles to work more efficiently. It helps kreduce weight which is very important for everyone with arthritis. Extra weight means extra pressure–the weight-bearing joints.
More specifically, you can try one or more of the followings:
Swimming or water exercise