Arthritis exercise is not difficult but you do need to know what causes arthritis and to follow some simple guidelines before beginning.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), is an inflammation of the synovial membrane which surrounds the joint. Joints are filled with synovial fluid which protects and lubricates during movement.
These joints lose range of motion and can become impaired due to weakening of the ligaments and tendons especially in the wrists, hands, feet and ankles.
Osteoarthritis(OA) is also know as degenerative joint disease and results in gradual loss of the joint cartilage. 90% of Americans will have some symptoms of OA by age 40.
Your doctor should go over your exercise plan with you before starting a program and only then should you begin gently and carefully.
Arthritis exercise precautions
- Gently begin range of motion exercises that take your arms and legs through their full range daily.
- Don’t trade a daily activity like gardening for exercise. It won’t take you through your full range of motion.
- This is especially important in your hips and knees. They should fully bend and straighten with focused exercise.
- Remember if it is painful to take your arm all the way over your head, just move in your “pain free range of motion”.
- If you have pain for more than one hour after exercise, you probably went a little too hard. Cut back on the weight, time or repetitions next time you exercise.
- Short exercise bouts are better tolerated than longer ones. Try breaking up your exercise into 15 minute sessions. Don’t overwork your joints.
- Stretching exercise for arthritis can be safely performed everyday, but strengthening exercises should be limited to 3 days a week.
Consistent and quality Arthritis exercise without aggravating your condition will increase your confidence and well being.