In America, arthritis, or joint pain, is the leading cause of disability, affecting 50 million adults and 300,000 children. Arthritis patients typically experience joint-related symptoms such as swelling, pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
Despite the difficulty of managing arthritis pain, many experts agree that exercise can be crucial in treating chronic symptoms. While it may sound counterintuitive, exercise can significantly alleviate arthritis symptoms.
To help combat arthritis pain, we’ve compiled a list of the best joint-friendly exercises that you can start today.
3 Joint-Friendly Exercises
Although movement might seem counter-productive when you’re in pain, it is essential to help treat arthritis. Avoiding movement can lead to even more pain and stiffness. Consequently, when you don’t exercise, you weaken your supporting muscles, which puts more strain on your joints.
However, exercise can further reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Low-impact exercises increase strength and flexibility in the body, thereby improving your overall health. Additionally, exercise can alleviate fatigue, improve function, and boost mood.
Think simple! Low-impact exercises don’t have to be overwhelming. Being joint-friendly, they put less stress on the body, so they’re best suited for people with arthritis.
Let’s check out the best joint-friendly exercises to help alleviate arthritis pain.
1. Low-Impact Aerobic Exercises
The benefits of aerobic exercise are extensive, especially in terms of cardiovascular health. You may even benefit from aerobic exercise if you want to keep your weight in check, which may also reduce joint pain.
There are several low-impact aerobic exercises that can be done to minimize the stress on the joints, including walking, bicycling, swimming (water aerobics), and using an elliptical machine.
Alternatively, if you are not the outdoorsy type, you might enjoy a spinning class or a walk on a treadmill. All of these activities will get your heart pumping without putting too much stress on your joints.
2. Muscle-Strengthening Exercises
Inactivity weakens your supporting muscles, increasing joint stress. However, muscle-strengthening exercises, such as weight training, working with resistance bands, or practicing yoga, are great ways to maintain or build muscle.
3. Flexibility And Range-Of-Motion Exercises
Joint stiffness is a common complaint among arthritis patients. Daily activities can seem impossible and painful.
Regular flexibility and range-of-motion exercises, such as stretching and yoga, can reduce stiffness. Additionally, stretching exercises often involve rolling the shoulders forward and backward and raising the arms above the head.
In terms of treating arthritis, any low-impact movement is better than none. Make sure to start slow and pay attention to how your body responds to your new exercise routine. Additionally, you should consult your physician about devising an exercise plan that is tailored to your arthritis symptoms and specific disease.