Exercising and its Benefits for Arthritis
While exercise is necessary for everyone, it is more crucial for people with arthritis. Why? The answer is straightforward. It is to alleviate the pain and stiffness resulting from arthritis. But are these the only two areas where exercises benefit arthritis? No. Exercising regularly and properly can benefit in various ways. While highlighting some advantages of exercises for arthritis, let’s delve into more aspects.
What is Arthritis?
Before exploring some essential aspects of arthritis, let’s first understand what arthritis is. Arthritis features swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. It primarily causes joint pain and stiffness and worsens with the person’s age.
The most common types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. While rheumatoid arthritis involves the immune system attacking the joints, osteoarthritis leads to cartilage breakdown. Cartilage is the hard and slippery tissue covering the end of bones where they form a joint.
Conditions Covered Under Arthritis
Over 100 types of arthritis have been observed. However, arthritis is classified as follows.
- Inflammatory Arthritis: It features damaging inflammation that does not happen as a usual reaction to an injury or infection.
- Degenerative or Mechanical Arthritis: It primarily damages the cartilage, covering the ends of the bones.
- Connective Tissue Disease (CTD): CTD involves joint pain with inflammation.
- Infectious Arthritis: It refers to the entry of a virus, fungus or bacterium into the joints causing inflammation.
- Metabolic Arthritis: Also called gouty arthritis, metabolic arthritis is the result of a buildup of painful uric acid crystals in the joint.
- Septic Arthritis: It is a joint inflammation resulting from a bacterial or fungal infection commonly affecting the hip and knee.
- Childhood Arthritis: Childhood arthritis results in permanent joint damage and is incurable. But remission is possible, during which the condition remains inactive.
Benefits of Exercising for Arthritis
Exercising can prove advantageous when done regularly, consistently, and appropriately. Following the doctor’s guidelines is necessary and if required, the exercises should be performed in the presence of an expert.
- Increased joint lubrication and nourishment
- Reduced joint pain and stiffness
- Increased bone density
- Enhanced flexibility
- Improved balance
- Increased muscular strength
- Improved posture
- Enhanced sleep
- Decreased stress levels
Generic Exercises for Arthritis
The type of exercise you choose will vary with your arthritis type, health condition, the severity of symptoms and more. Your doctor will prescribe a personalized exercise plan based on your specific condition. However, here are some generic exercises for arthritis.
- Stretching and range of movement exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Low-impact aerobics
- Tai Chi
- Warm water exercise
Joint Protection Tips
Some tips to protect your joints include the following.
- Indulge in low-impact exercises
- Perform your joint movements gently
- Do the movements slowly and easily
- Use heat treatment through warm towels, warm showers or hot packs
- Give ice treatment to your joints for 15-20 minutes as required after the activity
- Avoid overdoing the movements to prevent injury
Arthritis worsens with age. Hence, the earlier you address it, the better. A personalized treatment can help you deal with the condition effectively. Connect with Ranka Hospital for specific treatment through our expert doctors. Call us at +91 – 20 – 24261530 to book an appointment with us.