Living Better With Arthritis Tips

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Does arthritis affect other health concerns?

Arthritis Pain Management

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain and swelling in and around the joints. Exercising can help with pain management, as it strengthens the muscles around the joints. In addition to any medications prescribed by a doctor for pain management, ask your doctor about a referral to a physical therapist. The physical therapist can help you put together an exercise plan to best benefit the type of arthritis you have.

Exercises can start with stretching, then graduate into endurance and strength training exercises. If you cannot handle endurance exercises such as biking and walking, ask about a water exercise program. Water exercises still give you range-of-motion exercises, but the buoyancy of the body in the water reduces stress on painful joints.

At least 50 percent of people with arthritis also have heart problems, are overweight or are diabetic. Exercising can help with strengthening the heart and weight loss. Weight loss will, in turn, help with heart problems and will help control diabetes.

   
Should I exercise to help with arthritis pain management?

Arthritis Exercises

The best exercise you can do to help with arthritis is regular, moderate exercise. Regular, moderate exercise will reduce joint pain and stiffness and will help build stronger muscles around the joints. This increases flexibility and endurance.

Exercising to help control arthritis pain has a dual purpose—it also gives you more energy, allows you to sleep better, controls weight gain and promotes overall health by staving off osteoporosis and other disease.

When starting to exercise, start slow. Start with stretching and other flexibility exercises to improve range of motion. After stretching, you can move on to other endurance exercises and weight training exercises. If you are in too much pain to do endurance exercises such as biking or fast walking, start with a water exercise program. Yoga classes are good exercises, as is walking around the block, if you can start out with non-water exercises.

Before starting an exercise plan, you should check with your doctor. He can refer you to a physical therapist who can help you put together an exercise plan to fit your needs.

   
How common is arthritis?

Arthritis Information

The term “arthritis” is a general term for over 100 different rheumatic diseases and conditions. The most common form is osteoarthritis. Other common forms are rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and gout. All of these conditions are present as pain, aching, stiffness and joint swelling (in and around joints).

Arthritis is more common for adults who are 65 and older, but it can affect people of all ages, including children. Women tend to suffer from one form or another of arthritis more than men (24.4 percent for women, 18.1 percent for men). Arthritis does not discriminate when it comes to racial and ethnic groups.

With almost 19 million adults in the United States reporting activity limitations, arthritis is the nations most common cause of disability. One in 20 persons aged 18 to 64 years report that arthritis limits their work.

Arthritis pain can be managed with exercise. More than half of the adults with diabetes or heart disease also suffer from some form of arthritis pain. Exercising not only helps to control arthritis pain, but makes a person healthier overall and can reduce risk of other conditions and disease.

   
How does one cope with arthrits pain limitations?

Living Better with Arthritis

Living with arthritis can be challenging at times—you find you cannot do the things you want to do, because your joints do not have the proper range of motion to complete the task. In order to be able to do certain things, you should start an exercise plan, concentrating on range of motion and muscle strengthening. Strengthening muscles can help relieve some of the stress on the joints around the muscles.

Before starting an exercise program, you should consult with your doctor to make sure you are doing the proper type of exercises for your condition. Start out easy with simple stretching exercises. Only stretch as far as the pain range of motion allows. Stretch for 10 to 15 minutes prior to doing any endurance and muscle strengthening exercises. After exercising, you should also cool down by doing stretches for 5 to 10 minutes.

If your doctor has recommended any special dietary measures, make sure you stick to the recommended diet. If medication has been prescribed, take the medication as directed. With diet and exercise, you may be able to control arthritis pain, which will then allow you to do tasks you otherwise would not be able to do.

   
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