Safe Exercises for Arthritis and Joint Pain
Is arthritis keeping you from the activities you enjoy? About 25 percent of American adults have arthritis, but you can still find safe ways to exercise, remain active and maintain your independence.
According to research published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 58.6 million adults in the United States had arthritis from 2016 to 2018. Almost half suffer from arthritis-related activity limitations due to hip pain, knee pain and joint pain.
Arthritis Incidence Will Continue to Increase
Kristina A. Theis, Ph.D. of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, says arthritis incidence is increasing at a faster rate than projected. She told Healio Rheumatology that “a similar increasing trend was observed for the number of U.S. adults whose activities were limited due to arthritis.”
By 2040, the CDC projects that 26 percent, or 78 million American adults 18 years or older, will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
Safe Exercises to Manage Arthritis Pain
There is no cure for arthritis, but exercise is one of the best natural remedies. Inactivity can exacerbate joint pain and stiffness in the hips, knees and shoulders. If you have arthritis, you can work with your orthopaedists to find arthritis-appropriate exercises and activities that alleviate knee pain and hip pain. Some of these activities may include:
Arthritis is painful, but inactivity can exacerbate joint pain and stiffness in the hips, knees and shoulders. Walking is gentle on your joints, and you can select the frequency, intensity and time. And the best part is, it’s free! It is ideal to walk every day, but aim for at least 30 minutes of walking three to five times per week. If you count steps, try to work up to about 6,000 steps per day. In addition, walk outside for an extra boost of Vitamin D, which reduces chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Exercising in water decreases the effect of gravity on your body’s movements, so lap swimming and water aerobics are perfect activities if you have osteoarthritis. Research supports that water exercises promoting endurance, strength, and balance can reduce pain in older adults. Some fitness centers offer a variety of classes like hydro spinning and water flexibility.
Yoga lengthens muscles, loosens joints and improves range of motion. There are many types of yoga but look for a beginner’s class that moves slowly and includes basic poses. The most relaxing kind of yoga is sometimes called restorative yoga. It has mostly floorwork and utilizes blankets, straps, blocks and other equipment to help reduce tension and gently increase flexibility.
Exercise cannot reverse damage due to arthritis, but it can help prevent further damage and reduce knee and joint pain. Orthopaedists can also suggest workplace accommodations and other interventions that do not include medication to help manage arthritis symptoms.
Find an Orthopaedist Near You to Manage Joint Pain
Is arthritis causing you daily pain and limiting your activities? Call your orthopaedist and make an appointment today. Your doctor can help you manage your knee, hip, shoulder or back pain by creating a customized treatment plan that may include exercises, medication or physical therapy. If it is time to consider a knee or a hip replacement, you can discuss all your options at your appointment.