All around the world, the week of October 12th through the 20th is Bone & Joint Action Week! The purpose of this special event is to raise public awareness concerning the prevention and management of bone and joint diseases, such as arthritis or osteoporosis. One such effective intervention is exercise, which we would like to highlight here.
The Benefits of Exercise
When dealing with chronic pain, probably the last thing you feel like doing is exercising. However, exercise is very beneficial for patients diagnosed with RMD or Rheumatic Musculoskeletal Disease. Not only can physical exercise strengthen your overall body, but it can also help with other issues such as insomnia.
What Exercises Are Safe and Helpful?
The following forms of exercise are considered gentle, yet effective enough to strengthen your body.
Walking is an easy exercise that can be done almost anywhere and doesn’t require any special equipment. Walking is also a great stress reliever.
Probably the best exercise for RMD patients is swimming or performing other exercises in water. When your body is submerged in water, there is less resistance from gravity. Your body feels lighter, and you experience less pain. With this low impact exercise, you can move your arms in a broader range of movement and kick your legs faster which works to make your body stronger, improve your heart health, and reduce stress and tension.
Specially designed exercise aids, such as floating barbells or webbed gloves, make aquatic exercise fun and increase the natural resistance the water provides. Even something simple like walking through waist-high water is a great low-impact exercise that’s a stress reliever.
With RMD, weight training can help you to manage your symptoms by keeping your muscles in good shape and helping prevent muscle loss that can occur over time due to prolonged inactivity. Weight training keeps the joints, ligaments and tendons flexible and strong, enabling you to perform more activities, such as climbing stairs, with less pain.
Exercises that help improve body awareness, such as Tai Chi, help keep your body supple and flexible. Tat Chi uses a flowing form of movement and gentle stretching to improve joint and muscle health. The easiest way to begin this form of exercise is to join a class, but you can purchase a DVD to learn the method as well.
Before You Begin an Exercise Program
Before you take your first walk, swim or lift the first weight, consult your rheumatologist. Undertaking any form of exercise without medical counsel is not advised.
At the Arthritis Center of Lexington, we are dedicated to providing our patients with the highest quality of medical care for all rheumatologic diseases. Our knowledgeable and highly trained rheumatologists and friendly staff strive to offer compassionate healthcare to help alleviate chronic joint pain, with preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic options.
We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of life for our patients. With over 15 years of experience serving our community of Lexington, KY, we implement a personalized care plan for each patient, formulated for their individual needs.
Call us toll-free at 877-654-0148 or visit our website for more information. We look forward to serving you!