What are the best exercises for someone with arthritis?
I have horrible arthritis in my hips and knees. What are some good exercises that don't cause many problems with these two areas.
Range-of-motion exercise (e.g. dance) help maintain normal joint movement and relieve stiffness. This type of exercise helps maintain or increase flexibility.
Strengthening exercise (e.g. weight training) help keep or increase muscle strength. Strong muscles help support and protect joints affected by arthritis.
Aerobic or endurance exercise (e.g. bicycle riding) improve cardiovascular fitness, help control weight, and improve overall function.
Weight control can be important to people who have arthritis because extra weight puts extra pressure on many joints. Some studies show that aerobic exercise can reduce inflammation in some joints.
Most health clubs and community centers offer exercise programs for people with physical limitations.
by far what I have seen that does good for those suffering from Arthritis such as yourself is, yes, Range-of-Motion excercises (JThomp42), and also swimming.
I personally swim so that Atrophy will not settle in to quickly since I am not as active as I used to be. However, the key is not to do to much.
I have been told by my Rheumy that Pilates, water aerobics, and walking and stretching are great for ppl whom have arthritis.
Pilates? hmm I know nothing about that one. Guess I need to read up.
I will say first hand that pool aerobics, stretching, and pilates have all REALLY helped w/ the osteoarthritis that led me to 2 hip replacements. Great suggestion!
Use it or lose it - the muscles and joints must be moved daily. I have found that water aerobics work well for me, but walking is supposed to be better. Unfortunately, I have problems with my feet too.
Tai Chi is considered a good yoga type of exercise that can be done by people with mobility problems and it includes stretching and balance movements. This is important for people that tend to put more weight on one side than another side (because of pain).
Yoga itself is good, but difficult for overweight or non-athletic types.
For hips and knee pain, I would recommend seeing a sports therapy doctor and find out what he or she recommends for your specific condition. You may have to use wraps or kinesio tape as well as NSAIDS before you begin to exercise. Plus a slow, extended warm up is highly recommended.
I definitely agree with JThomp42's answers, but there are a lot of other variables. Range of motion exercises can & should be done every day. Strength training, is really dependent upon you and how your body feels/recovers. My patients use heat/cold to recover from inflammation/soreness. I'd recommend aerobic activity (bicycle riding) 3 times a week for 30 minutes, however you really should consult your doctor/physical therapist.
Tai Chi is great for increasing range of motion in all your joints. A gentle form of yoga (or any gentle stretching) would also help with maintaining and/or increasing flexibility, which is invaluable for joint problems. At the same time, any kind of stretching would help your muscles stay long and lean. Shortened muscles tend to go into spasm more readily, causing more pain and discomfort.
Anything performed in water would be helpful to cushion your weight-bearing joints (both hips and knees are weight-bearing). Fibromyalgia sufferers can get relief from doing gentle exercises in warm (not cold) water.
If you're open-minded and willing to try alternative therapy, you may even consider magnetic mattresses (or mattress liners which are less expensive) that have been proved in a study to relieve pain in fibromyalgia sufferers. If your pain is confined to your knees and hips, and you don't want to spend too much, you could try a magnet wrap.
Finally, you may want to question if the diagnosis of arthritis is really accurate, esp. in someone as young as you are. Arthritis tends to be a catch-all diagnosis when the medical profession really means they have no idea what's causing the pain (i.e. no obvious structural/physical cause found). Often, chronic pain points to an emotional component that needs to be addressed. I'm in the process of putting together a hub on chronic pain. Will let you know when it's done.
All the best!
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