Arthritis Pain & Stiffness Help

Pain and stiffness caused by arthritis can make even daily activities feel like an endurance test. There are exercises that can help deal with the chronic pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. There are also exercises to avoid. The worst option is to do nothing. It’s important to understand that, with arthritis, the more we help ourselves, the better off we’ll be.

While it’s important to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regime, experts at the Mayo Clinic suggest that long, slow stretching exercises and low impact aerobic workouts are the best choices for people with arthritis.

Arthritis is inflammation of the joint—where two bones meet. It is the number one disability in people over 55 years of age. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis and is caused by years of wear-and-tear on your joint’s cartilage without adequate repair by the body. Cartilage is the coating in between bones that allow the bones to move freely and without pain. Osteoarthritis usually occurs over many years but in some cases it can be brought on by an injury or infection.

It may seem contradictory, but if arthritis is causing your joints to ache and stiffen up, the more you use them the better off you will be. Exercises that work on the muscles surrounding and supporting your joints will help to improve your strength and endurance. Swimming, or water exercise, is a good example of a low impact exercise that tones your muscles without damaging the joints.

Walking and bicycling are two other exercises that are low impact and that focus on the gradual strengthening of your body’s bones and muscles. Yoga is a form of exercise that has increasingly become popular in this country. When taught correctly it can help people deal with chronic pain and the problems that are associated with it—such as insomnia and depression.

Hatha Yoga is one of the most common types practiced in this country and consists of a series of postures and techniques that focus on both the body and the mind. Yoga has been shown to help people with pain and restrictive movement, but should always be learned through an experienced instructor. More and more types of yoga for the older practitioner are being taught now and can help people with a wide variety of physical restrictions.

The types of exercises that should be avoided when dealing with the chronic effects of arthritis are high impact, repetitive motion exercises such as tennis, running, or jumping. Any type of sport that requires the same motion over and over, repeatedly using the same set of muscles, such as throwing a baseball or serving a tennis ball, will do more harm than good

Categories: Wellness

About Author

Katie McCormack

Katie is a contributor for DailyHealthDigital® for all topics related to aging, well-being and health. Her interests lie in holistic and natural remedies. She is an avid reader and a yoga practitioner.