Arthritis is a term used to describe a range of degenerative, inflammatory conditions affecting the bones, joints and muscles. Some forms of arthritis include Osteoarthritis (degeneration of the articular cartilage in joints), rheumatoid arthritis (autoimmune disease cause inflammation of the joints), Gout (high levels of Uric acid form painful crystals in joints). The prevalence of Arthritis increases with age, and is a major contributing factor for pain, disability and illness.
Further to this, arthritis can be extremely detrimental to quality of life and general wellbeing. This is caused by the exposure to the often chronic pain, physical limitation, complex management strategies and associated mental health complications.
If you have recently been given a diagnosis of arthritis, it is easy to assume that minimising exercise will prevent further pain and slow the disease progression. In fact, this could not be further from the truth.
Active Treatment of Arthritis
Research continues to provide a strong position for structured exercise as one of the most effective treatments for arthritis. This is due to the capacity for it to improve joint mobility and flexibility, increase muscle strength and postural stability, and decrease pain, fatigue (tiredness), muscle tension and stress.
It is also important to remember that exercise will simultaneously improve your heart and lung function, increase your bone strength, improve your mental health, reduce the risk of almost all chronic diseases and reduce your body weight.
What exercise is best?
Although a “one size fits all” exercise program for treatment of Arthritis does not exist. It is now generally accepted that a combination of flexibility exercises (to maximise pain-free mobility of joints and tissue), strengthening exercises (to provide support and stability for affected joints) and endurance exercises (to increase heart and lung function).
It is important to consult your Doctor and Exercise Physiologist to have an individualised exercise treatment program prescribed for you.
To book in an Exercise Physiology consult and discuss treatment options book below or fill out the “We’ll call you” section.