How the Right Kind of Exercise Can Improve Your Arthritis Symptoms

How the Right Kind of Exercise Can Improve Your Arthritis Symptoms

According to the CDC, arthritis affects more than 58 million Americans annually. Various forms of arthritis affect the joints in your body, making it hard for you to complete even simple tasks.

However, if you take the proper steps and stay active, you may improve your arthritis symptoms. Exercise is a great way to keep your joints mobile and decrease chronic pain from arthritis.

Dr. Nabil Ebraheim and the University of Toledo Physicians team are experts in orthopedic problems like arthritis. If you're unsure what to do after an arthritis diagnosis, Dr. Ebraheim offers compassionate care and conservative measures to help you manage your symptoms.

Arthritis and your joints

Arthritis is a common medical condition affecting your joints' health and mobility. The condition can affect any of your joints, although it's more noticeable when it takes over the larger joints like your knees and hips.

There are varying forms of arthritis, each of which affects your joints differently. Some of the more common forms of the disease include the following:

Osteoarthritis is a prevalent form of the condition, causing the breakdown of cartilage in your joints. It often leads to pain and disability when you don't catch it early on. Your knees, hips, shoulders, and spine are prone to osteoarthritis.

Your joints are crucial to your life and activities, which is why you should keep an eye out for arthritis symptoms and come in for an evaluation if you notice swelling, stiffness, or joint pain that continues despite home care.

The sooner you recognize the symptoms, the earlier you can get treatment. Early intervention and movement are crucial to preventing more damage and managing joint discomfort.

Can exercise help?

Exercise is a crucial component when it comes to managing your arthritis symptoms. Sitting on your couch only contributes to stiffness and pain. At the same time, regular physical activity helps to loosen your joints and improve inflammation.

However, choosing the right type of exercise is key, especially when living with arthritis. For instance, you want to avoid going out and running a full marathon when you have osteoarthritis in your knees and hips.

The correct exercises provide your body with strength, flexibility, and range-of-motion to keep you healthy and in shape.

There are several benefits to staying physically active with arthritis, including helping you cope with the disease. Other benefits of exercise include the following:

Without exercise, the muscles around your joints become weak, putting excess strain on the joints and worsening your symptoms.

Tips for exercising with arthritis

The key to exercising with arthritis is choosing activities that take the stress off your joints. Dr. Ebraheim helps you select appropriate exercises for the best outcomes. Some tips to adhere to when choosing an exercise plan for arthritis include:

Low-impact is best

Exercising with arthritis means low-impact activities to reduce stress on your joints. Instead of running or jumping rope, choose biking, swimming, or walking exercises to improve function and reduce inflammation.

Make sure to warm up

Warming up is an essential component of any workout routine. It allows you to improve blood flow to your muscles and loosen them up, which aids in injury prevention and pain reduction.

Take it slowly

You never want to rush into an exercise program, especially when you're living with arthritis. Always start slowly to ensure you don't injure yourself or worsen your condition.

Utilize heat

Heat before exercise is a great way to improve muscle and joint circulation, decreasing the chances of injury. Applying heat to affected joints 20 minutes before your workout can significantly improve your outcome after exercise.

Ice after

If you notice swelling in your joints after your workout, use ice to reduce inflammation. Dr. Ebraheim recommends icing your joint for 20 minutes after a workout to ease swelling and minimize discomfort. Make sure to wrap the ice in a towel; don’t put it directly on your skin.

Don't overdo it

The key to exercising is to not overdo it, even without arthritis. Overdoing your routine puts you at risk for other injuries and worsening symptoms. Listen to your body; if you start to feel pain or you're sore from yesterday, take a break and allow your body to rest.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ebraheim for arthritis pain, call our office at 419-383-3761, or request an appointment online. You can also learn more about the conditions we treat on our YouTube channel.

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