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What's The Best Exercise For People With Arthritis?

Posted by Vicki on 11/20/2018


Arthritis is a natural aging process of the joints. It occurs as the fluid in our joints begins to dry out and thicken over time. The dryer the joints get, the more the motion in the joints create friction between the bones and cause pain. Products like Osteo Chondroitin or Bioflex are supposed to regenerate the normal fluid in the joint space. Products like these take about 3-6 months to effect a change in the normal joint spaces.
If you have early signs of arthritis, the best thing you can do is keep moving! The motion of the joint causes the fluid to move around in the joints and brings nutrition to the ends of the bone in that joint. The fluid motion keeps the joint healthy.
Avoid pounding activities on the joints like running or jumping. With the fluid in the joint already reduced, the cushioning effect is also reduced. This pounding can cause further injury to the joint.

Studies have shown that by increasing the motion and strength around the joint will help your ability to exercise. The type of exercise that is best for arthritis is that which reduces the weight of the body on the joint. So rather than running or walking, riding a stationary bike or walking in water are easier on your joints.

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 when your joints are in a full flair up, go to the water. Exercising in the water causes buoyancy of your body and reduces the compression on the already overloaded joints. The water will reduce your pain and allow the joints to move fully through the range of motion. 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.

Depending on your insurance, you may be able to go to physical therapy without a prescription from your doctor. If your insurance does require a prescription, we may be able to help you get one. If you are unsure if your condition can be treated with physical therapy, contact our office and we can set you up with a FREE screen to determine if you are a good candidate for physical therapy.