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Understanding Arthritis

Posted by Vicki on 10/21/2013


  Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and
happens from wear & tear of the joints over time. With the progression of
stresses on the joints from injury, inflammation, and excessive strain on the
joints, the fluid in the joints becomes thick causing more friction in the
joint. The friction begins a process of breaking down the cartilage of the bone
and creates a painful experience. Excessive weight on the joints also compounds
the situation. A cycle is started of pain, stiffness and weakness. Often it
requires intervention to break that cycle and initiate the healing process. The
cycle must be broken by movement of the joint that is often painful.

  Exercises that are performed through the entire range of motion and have reduced weight bearing on
the joints are the easiest to perform. You can start with a stationary bike, or
do some movement in a pool that will reduce the stress and strain on the joint.
During the exercises, you should try to maintain good form when moving the body
through the entire motion. It has been shown that the joint motion will reduce
the thickness of the fluid in the joint and begins to bath the joint in
nutrition that can improve the healing process. 

   Next you should attempt to begin some exercises for strengthening to support the joint. The
added stability of the joints from the strengthening will help to reduce the
abnormal stresses on the joint during normal activities. The key to improving
your arthritis begins with motion of the joint and modifying the forces on the
joint during that activity. A physical therapist is trained to assist you in
reducing your pain, getting back your motion, strengthening your joints and
modifying activities to reduce the effects of disease.