Even though arthritis pain might tempt you to sit still and stay indoors, it's important to stay active. Getting moderate regular exercise improves your strength and flexibility, and can help reverse your arthritis symptoms altogether. You shouldn't push yourself too hard, but a good exercise plan can help you manage your condition.
At Orthopaedic Institute For Spinal Disorders of Houston, Texas, our experienced care team can develop a plan that's right for your unique health needs. Headed by Jose E. Rodriguez-Cordova, MD, we offer health care services to patients living with arthritis, and give the following advice when it comes to arthritis and exercise.
Exercise eases pain and stiffness
When your arthritis has you feeling all cramped up, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. But getting yourself moving can relieve your pain and stiffness, and may help prevent further symptoms from developing. Without moderate exercise and stretching, your joints may actually get more stiff and painful.
When you exercise regularly, your muscles around your joints gain strength, which then supports and cushions areas that suffer from arthritis pain. Exercise will help you maintain your bone strength, as well.
The right exercise regimen should address the areas of your body that are affected by arthritis. We can work with you to put together a custom-tailored exercise plan that will stretch out your cramped joints without adding too much painful pressure or repetitive stress.
In addition to low-impact forms of exercise like swimming, bicycling, or yoga, you might benefit from targeted exercises for arthritis. Ask about range-of-motion exercises like rolling your shoulders forward and backward, or strengthening practices like weight training. Applying heat to your joints and muscles, and icing worked areas after exercise, should help you lessen any pain.
Moderate exercise is best for sustained results
In order to improve your strength and flexibility, keep your weight down, and reduce feelings of fatigue, regular moderate exercise returns better results than one or two exhausting, pain-inducing sessions of pushing yourself in the gym. Respect your own limits, and engage in supported activity to prevent reactive flare-ups.
When you're starting a new exercise program, you might need to rest for a day between sessions. In general, avoid heavily exercising the same muscle groups for two days in a row. Pay attention to reactions like increased pain or swelling, and take breaks as needed. Work your way up to goals by splitting up your activity sessions at first.
If you'd like to talk to a member of the Orthopaedic Institute For Spinal Disorders care team about your arthritis, or receive help from Dr. Rodriguez-Cordova in developing an exercise plan that's right for you, schedule a consultation today. You can call our Houston, Texas office, or use the online booking tool.