Senior Health: Exercise to ease arthritis pain

MORE THAN 50 MILLION adults suffer from arthritis, and there are 100 different types and related conditions. Arthritis is not actually a single disease; rather, it refers to joint pain and joint disease. Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion, and these symptoms may come and go or become progressively worse over time. Some types of arthritis can even affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, and skin.

Arthritis is first diagnosed by a primary care physician. The provider will conduct a physical exam, and may perform blood tests and imaging to determine the type of arthritis.

Those who suffer from arthritis can benefit greatly from exercise. In fact, exercise is proven to be the most effective non-drug treatment for osteoarthritis. Your exercise regimen should always be approved by your provider, however. The weekly recommendation is 150 minutes of mild activity or 75 minutes of intense workout.

Some of the best exercises for arthritis sufferers include brisk walking, water aerobics, aerobic exercises such as biking, swimming, or jogging, and range-of-motion exercises that focus on gentle stretching. While your pain may prevent you from working out, gentle movement often lessens pain. Before you start to exercise, use a heating pad to loosen your muscles and then engage in simple stretching. Start with a low-impact activity, and pay attention to your pain. If your body is telling you that you should slow down, take the cue.

Start exercising today to reduce arthritis pain and stiffness and improve your quality of life!

This column is sponsored by Trinity Medical Group.


column by DR. DANE PARKER

BIO: Dr. Dane Parker is a board-certified family nurse practitioner and a holistic provider in chiropractic medicine at Trinity Medical Group.

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