The Importance of Exercising When You Have Arthritis

The old saying, “Move it or lose it,” is almost tailor-made for many arthritis sufferers. The problem is, this disease of the joints presents a fairly large hurdle to the very thing that can help you with the pain and inflammation that are part and parcel of arthritis — exercise.

Here at Advocate Integrated Medicine, our team has extensive experience helping our clients in Johnson City, Tennessee, negotiate painful conditions, including the many forms of arthritis. And our goal is simple: help you regain pain-free movement so that you can lead a healthy and active life long into the future. When it comes to arthritis, we can do our part to help stem the progressive disease, but there’s a lot you can do on your own to improve your quality of life through exercise.

While we’re not suggesting you hit the pavement every morning for a run, there are some great exercise regimens to help you gain the upper hand on your joint problems. Here’s a look at how exercise is a key weapon in your battle against arthritis.

Arthritis 101

Arthritis is essentially a catchall term for any condition that leads to inflammation in your joints and it affects more than 54 million people in the United States. And this number is expected to rise to 78 million by the year 2040 thanks to an aging population. What we want to illustrate with these numbers is that arthritis is an exceedingly common condition, which means we’ve had plenty of experience helping our patients better manage the disease.

And the reason we say manage is that there’s no cure for arthritis. Whether you suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or the more than 100 other forms of the disease, the key to dealing with arthritis of any kind is to slow the disease and minimize its impact on your life. And exercise is a fantastic way to meet these goals.

Why exercise?

When it comes to combating arthritis, the importance of exercise can’t be overstated. Among other things, exercising:

Many of your joints are designed to move and they work best when they’re in motion — it may help to think of your joints like metal components that can rust and freeze up if they’re not continually worked.

Through exercise, you start a number of important processes that help you maintain your mobility and range of motion, allowing you to freely participate in your life.

The first process is to kick-start your body’s own healing resources, which help with inflammation. Once your inflammation comes down, you can build up strength in your surrounding connective tissue (muscles, ligaments, and tendons), helping spread out the workload more evenly in your arthritic joints.

And once you start exercising, you have more energy, you sleep better, and you’re able to avoid the pitfalls of the weight gain that can come with inactivity, which only makes your arthritis worse.

No need to pound it out

When we talk about exercise, we want you to be mindful of placing too much stress on your beleaguered joints. If you have arthritis, you should steer clear of concussive activities like running, which can, in fact, cause you more pain and inflammation.

The goal with arthritis is to strengthen your joints and safeguard your range of motion, which you can do through:

And if you want to get your heart rate up, try an elliptical or hop on your bike.

A little help

As we promised in the beginning, if you take care of your joints through appropriate exercise, we can do our part through several innovative treatments using regenerative medicine, which helps reinforce your body’s natural resources. We offer platelet-rich plasma therapy, for example, which can give your body just the boost it needs for better joint health.

If you’d like to get back to your active life, please give us a call so that we can set up the best treatment plan for your arthritis. Or you can use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

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