Is exercising good or bad for arthritis patients?


Have a doubt if exercising is good or bad for your arthritic joints? This article explains the effects of exercise on your joints. Research says that regular exercise is beneficial to the joints and alleviates pain.

Arthritis is a disease causing inflammation (pain, redness, and swelling) and stiffness of the joints. A common confusion in the minds of the patients suffering from arthritis is, if exercise is good for them or not, does exercise cause more damage to the joints, or if exercise increases pain and suffering. Generally, physicians advise rest to the joints if a patient is experiencing pain.

What does research say?

Researchers at Harvard Medical School say that exercising strengthens your muscles, improves flexibility, circulation, and also relieves pain. Exercise is a great way to prevent disability and to keep the joints healthy. Exercise is a great way to prevent arthritis by avoiding weight gain and maintaining health.

Continue exercising

Majority of the times, people avoid exercise due to fear of pain and pain. This will further aggravate their condition as we tend to use only certain muscles in daily activities and therefore other inactive muscles weaken over a period of time. The key to this problem is to know which type of exercises are beneficial or and will relieve your pain or do not aggravate symptoms. It is always good to consult a physician and physical therapist who will recommend a good workout regimen that will strengthen your muscles and makes your joints flexible. Initially, you might experience some soreness and pain after exercise but gradually things will improve.

Always perform low-impact cardio exercises like walking instead of running, slow cycling such that you reduce the impact on your joints and further damage the joints. Do not forget to warm up and do stretching exercises before starting to work out or doing yoga.

Consider Yoga

Yoga is one of the best forms of exercises for arthritis as it not only improves endurance, emphasizes on balance and posture, it is also incorporates breathing practices along with relaxation or meditation. Yoga has a beneficial effect in people suffering from arthritis who lead a sedentary life and can be a meaningful alternative to aerobics. Also, consider aquatic exercises like water walking that improve agility, balance and cardiovascular fitness. Aquatic exercises are very beneficial in individuals with arthritis that are overweight as the buoyancy of the water reduces the impact on the joints and increased use of muscles leading to burning more calories.

Exercising helps you in fighting pain

Exercise triggers the production and release of endorphins into the blood stream. Endorphins are the natural painkillers produced endogenously by our body to combat pain by acting similar to the painkillers like morphine and codeine. Endorphins are also good stress busters and mood enhancers. Therefore, with little exercise one can reduce pain, stress, and enhance mood. Exercising helps you in decreasing your dosage of pain medications which are addictive and improves your general health and safeguards you from the side effects of pain medication.

Stress and continuous worrying increase your suffering, it is always advisable to divert your mood and practice a healthy living with yoga, meditation, being creative, listening to music or engage in any activity that soothes your mind and allows you to stop thinking about your problem.

Try home remedies

If you want to avoid the unpleasant side effects of pain medications then try home remedies like Epsom Salt soak, ginger and turmeric tea, olive oil, aloe vera gels and sesame oil for relief. Always remember not to apply heat or hot fomentation to the affected joints, use ice packs to cool the joints and reduce the soreness and swelling after exercise to get instant relief.


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