Approximately 52.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with arthritis, representing nearly 1 in 4 people, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This figure jumps to about 50 percent among adults older than 65 years of age. Although arthritis is a more common condition among older adults, it is possible to experience arthritis at any age. One of the most effective ways to treat arthritis pain is to engage in physical therapy or other exercises that lengthen muscles, diminish bone-on-bone contact and promote healing. Consider the following exercises to relieve arthritis pain.
Range of Motion Exercises
When you have arthritis, stiffness and pain may cause you to become very limited in your motions. Incorporating range of motion exercises into your routine will help your functional daily movements. For example, you may begin by rolling your shoulders forward and backward, reaching down toward your toes, raising your arms over your head or swinging your leg from side to side while holding onto a chair. Performing these exercises every day can significantly improve your range of motion.
Not only do your muscles support your joints, but they also physically protect them from damage. Thus, strengthening your muscles can reduce joint pain. Try weight training, beginning with very light weights, to build muscle mass. Work your major muscle groups, but never work the same groups two days in a row. Our orthopedic associates recommend aiming for two days of weight training per week (one upper body day, one lower body day) as a good way to build strength without exacerbating pain.
Aerobic exercise will not directly relieve your arthritis pain. However, it is an important part of a more healthy lifestyle and is associated with numerous health benefits. Aim to get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical exercise daily, such as brisk walking, dancing or swimming.
Considerations before Performing New Exercises
Of course, it is essential to consider your level of physical fitness before beginning a new exercise routine. Depending on the type of arthritis you have, your orthopedic specialist may recommend certain types of exercise while prohibiting others. The goal is to create an exercise plan that strengthens muscles and improves flexibility without exacerbating your pain.
Arthritis can have a significant negative impact on your everyday functioning and quality of life. If you’re struggling with arthritis pain, visit the Southeast Orthopedic Specialists today. We are a group of specialists in orthopedic medicine who can recommend exercises
and other treatments that can reverse your arthritis pain.