Arthritis & Joint Pain
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints or other areas of your body. The signs and symptoms of arthritis may include inflammation (pain, stiffness, swelling, redness) & decreased range of motion, which typically worsen with age.
In many cases, arthritis symptoms can be reduced with the following measures:
- Weight loss will reduce the stress on your weight-bearing joints.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day can help keep your joints flexible. Avoiding exercise can increase stiffness and decrease function of those joints.
- Hot and cold pads or ice packs may help relieve arthritis pain.
- Assistive devices such as canes, walkers and raised toilet seats can help protect your joints and improve your ability to perform daily tasks.
Self-Care Tips for Exercising with Arthritis & Joint Pain
Set a time -Exercising requires a lot of commitment, especially since it should be recurring and not just a one-time event. Making any changes to your daily routine can be overwhelming so the best way to incorporate frequent exercise is by setting a time. With osteoarthritis, the pain typically gets worse throughout the day, so exercising in the morning may be more beneficial. Set a time that’s best suited for you.
Find a friend or a group – Motivation is the key to successfully implementing healthy choices into your lifestyle. Although motivation can be obtained through several different ways, one great source is encouragement from others.
Find the exercise that’s right for you -When we think of exercise, we often think of running or walking, but there are many arthritis-friendly options that can add variety to your exercise routine. Some include:
Swimming, Golf, Hiking, Cycling, Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Ballroom and Belly Dancing.
Recognize abnormal pain - Although it’s common to experience a bit of discomfort during exercise with osteoarthritis, you should be able to recognize abnormal pain which may be a sign to decrease the intensity, take more rests, or re-evaluate the exercise. Consult with your physician if the pain worsens or persists and prior to starting any new exercise programs.
Physical activity is the best non-drug treatment for improving pain and functioning.