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Exercise For People With Arthritis

May 26, 2008
Thinking about exercise and arthritis? It is not uncommon for people to show their horror at this thought. For many years it was believed that arthritis and exercise doesnt go hand in hand. However a recent study has revealed that exercise can in fact help people with arthritis. Additionally exercise is becoming a vital tool in managing arthritis. Regular exercise helps in improving the flexibility of the joints, decreasing pain and rigidity in the joints. It also helps in improving the general muscular structure of the body. Besides it brings extra benefits as well which includes, better overall fitness, more self-esteem and lower levels of depression. This article aims to deal with several exercise approaches that can be used by arthritis patients to get pain relief and manage arthritis more effectively.

Range of motion exercises involves trying to move the joints in all possible directions. It is more of a gentle exercise. It needs to be carried out on a regular basis in order to decrease the rigidity of the joints and avoid deformities. This exercise becomes more important for arthritis patients who tend to avoid much joint movement due to high inflammatory pain. It is believed by some people that normal day activities like dressing, bathing, housework are a substitute for ROM exercises; however this is not the case.

Strengthening exercises are used in everyday life to improve the muscular structure of the body, which allows the body to withstand pain more easily. Similar arthritis patients can use this exercise to help build strong muscles, which will lead to more stable joints and less pain. This type of exercise comes in two packages, which includes isotonic and isometric. Isometric exercises are used in conditions where the joint motion is impaired. It involves tightening the muscles without moving the joints. Isotonic on the other hand, involves tightening the muscles in coordination with joint movements.

Endurance exercises involve bringing the heart beat level of your heart to an optimal level for a short period of time. This optimal level of heart performance is acquired on the basis of the patients age and physical condition using computer. It helps in improving the cardiovascular fitness. In order to increase the effectiveness of these exercises, these shall be undertaken around 3 times a week. Carrying out theses exercises helps patients achieve better physical strength and improve mental attitude.

There are several exercises that be can undertaken by an arthritis patient. Walking is an ideal choice. It helps in building strength and improves mobility of the joints. It is also helpful for maintaining bone health. Similarly running can bring about pain relief to arthritis patients. Research has shown that running on soft surfaces doesnt cause osteoarthritis. This is a good option for people suffering from less extreme version of arthritis.

Yoga has long been an ultimate exercise for arthritis patients. Yoga can help bring relief to joints, decrease pain and relax muscles. It is also a good range-of-motion exercise as it includes controlled movements, maintaining pressures, and deep breathing relaxation. However this exercise must be carefully used if the condition is getting worse rapidly and try not to put pressure on the inflamed joints. Cycling can be used as a low level exercise option. This exercise can be carried in either position; freestanding or stationary. Additionally, cycling equipment can be fixed and altered according to the condition of the patient, in order to make the experience easier and less physically imposing.

The aforementioned exercises give an insight into possible ways of improving the health of patients suffering from arthritis. In order to effectives of each technique it is essential to be consistent. The exercise shall be started on a low note and then build up gradually in order to allow the body to adjust to the outside pressure. Also it is important to keep in mind, that each exercise shall be carried within its own limit. Excess exercise during flare-ups can worsen symptoms.

However before the exercise is undertaken, it is important to contact your nearest doctor and seek professional advice as each case of arthritis shall be dealt on an individual basis. This can be help in seeking a more effective approach to this condition.
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