Your knees, hips or back are stiff and sore and sometimes hurt with certain movements, so why would you want to strength train or do other types of exercise? Simple: Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis of all kinds because it:
- Increases strength and range of motion
- Reduces join pain
- Helps to combat fatigue
- Keeps your muscles and surrounding tissue strong to support your bones
- Helps with weight management, which puts less stress on your joints
- Improves balance
- Improves sleep
- Eases depression
If you don’t exercise, your supporting muscles weaken, creating more stress on your joints. Alternatively, when you move more throughout the day, you increase the lubrication in your joints so everything is easier to do!
Useful Exercise Tips to Get the Relief You Need
- Start slowly and warm up with some range of motion exercises for your joints.
- Stay within a pain-free range of motion and progress as your strength increases.
- Use a supportive sleeve or elastic wrap around your affected joint to keep swelling down and make exercise more comfortable.
- Plan light, moderate and heavier exercise days throughout the week to help with recovery and progression.
- Wear proper footwear with support and cushion when doing weight-bearing exercises.
- Strength train two times a week with an exercise for every major muscle group. Just don’t do this two days in a row. Give your body a recovery day.
- Keep impact activities low.
- Train at a time of day when your symptoms are better.
- Use heat prior to exercise and ice afterwards.
- Progress slowly in intensity and/or duration. This is key!
It is very common to have muscle soreness as you adapt to the exercise, but you should not experience sharp pain. If you have a flare up, take a rest day, do an activity that is low impact or shorten your duration and/or intensity.
Benefits of Exercise for Arthritis
Exercise is one of the best treatments for arthritis. Starting with light cardiovascular activity and easing into strength training will help reduce inflammation that causes pain. You may think exercise will aggravate your joint pain, but that is not the case. It is the lack of exercise that can make your joints even more stiff and painful.
For best results, attend a class specific for arthritis. A warm water class can be a great way to start. Ideally, find a qualified trainer to create a program for your specific needs.
Personalized Arthritis Care at Bryan LifePointe
Our certified exercise professionals will create a training and exercise program that can help you transition into regular physical activity. Making activity a routine in your lifestyle is the best way to manage arthritis. We can help you create a program that is specialized to you. Below are services specific to arthritis plus much more.
- Warm Water Arthritis Classes
- Aquatic Physical Therapy
- Whole Body Cryotherapy
- Strength Training
- Endurance and Range of Motion Programs
To learn more about Bryan LifePointe services and how we can help with your arthritis pain, give our team a call at 402-481-6300 or visit our office in Lincoln today!
Cindy Kugler, MS, Bryan LifePointe
Cindy is a certified exercise physiologist and certified strength and conditioning coach.