How Does Exercise Help Manage Arthritis?

Updated 10/8/2020

Arthritis is a common medical condition which generally affects people above the age of 40. Arthritis is unlike any other medical ailments.

When an individual is suffering from arthritis, in addition to medication, exercise can also help them immensely. Before we go into the details of how exercise helps arthritis, we will look into the details of the medical condition.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a disease which is a bone-related ailment which restricts your ability to move around. Arthritis is such a widespread problem that it affects more than 50 million adults all over the world. Arthritis is characterised by symptoms like:

  • Swelling
  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness of joints
  • Inability to move around easily

The symptoms can be severe or they can be milder depending on the extent of the problem which you are suffering from.

Now that you are familiar with the condition as well as its symptoms, it is time to look at some of the ways in which you can get relief from this arthritis.

Does exercise help manage Arthritis?

Medications exist to help manage arthritis, but there is evidence to suggest that exercise can also help with the management of arthritis. Exercises help you in more ways than one, when you’re looking to treat this condition. We will list some of the ways in which exercise can help you when you’re suffering from arthritis.

  • Increased bone strength:

Bones lose their strength over time. In simple terms, if they’re not worked and put under stress, they gradually decrease in strength. With the help of right exercises, you will be able to help offset and prolong the drop your bone strength. This will ensure that the pain, as well as inflammation, is reduced in and around the bones. Arthritis sufferers may have already been advised to consume supplements to support bone health. With the help of exercises, the bone strength can be further supported.

  • Strengthening the muscles around the joints:

With the help of exercise, you will be able to strengthen the muscles around the bone joints. This will ensure that greater support is provided to the bones. As a result, the strain on the bones will be reduced which in turn reduces pain and inflammation around the bone joints.

  • Weight control:

With the help of proper exercise, you will be able to keep your weight under control. When your weight is under control, the pressure on the bone joints will be reduced. With the reduced pressure, problems like inflammation as well as pain in the bone joints will be greatly reduced.

  • Improved balance:

With the help of proper exercise, you will be able to train your muscles for better balance. This will ensure that the weight distribution takes place more evenly. In such a case, it will become easier for the body to reduce extra pressure on any particular bone joint.

Exercise certainly tackles many of the issues associated with arthritis. These are the ways in which exercise can actually help you in treating arthritis.

4 types of exercises which can help people suffering from Arthritis:

Most of the doctors as well as physiotherapists will also recommend certain exercises in order to deal with arthritis.

The list below consists of 4 different types of exercises which can help you in dealing with arthritis.

1. Range of motion exercises:

The range of motion exercises includes simple movements like raising your arms over your head or rolling your shoulders. These exercises help you in reducing the stiffness in and around the bone joints. They also increase your ability to move your limbs around in full range of motion. These exercises can be easily practised on a daily basis.

2. Strengthening exercises:

The main purpose of strengthening exercises is to increase the endurance of the muscles. As the muscles are strengthened, the support which is provided to the bones is increased. With increasing support, the pain in the bone joints is reduced as significantly. Additionally, this also means that the inflammation around the bone joints will be reduced. Some of the tips which you have to follow while using the strengthening exercises include:

  • Avoid working on the same set of muscles 2 days consistently
  • Make sure that you have a rest day in between 2 exercise routines
  • Make sure that you opt for strength exercises only 3 days a week

When you are able to follow these 3 tips, you will be able to reduce the muscle inflammation around the bone joints as well as joint pain.

3. Aerobic exercises:

Consider water aerobics

Aerobic exercises help your body in more ways than one. Not only, they will help you in reducing the muscle stiffness as well as muscle swelling but also improve the cardiovascular health. Initially, when you’re practising the aerobic exercises in order to reduce the symptoms of arthritis, it is important to start with the basic exercises. These basic exercises include:

  • Walking
  • Bicycling
  • Swimming

You need to divide the exercises into smaller sets of 10 minutes each. Initially, you have to only complete 15 such sets of exercises in a week.

4. Day-to-day physical activities:

In order to reduce the problems associated with arthritis, you can even undertake day-to-day physical activities. These activities include:

  • Mowing the lawn
  • Walking the dog
  • Gentle yoga poses

With the help of these day-to-day physical activities, it will become easier for you to reduce the pain in your body. You will also be able to improve your balance which will help you in reducing the pressure on your bones. Thus, the bone joint pain can be reduced as well.

Thus, when you’re wondering how exercise helps arthritis, you can be sure that it does so in more ways than one.

You can practice the 4 types of exercises in order to reduce the bone joint problems. You can even consult your doctor before starting the exercises.

Most medical practitioners will advise you to supplement medications with exercises in order to reduce the intensity of problems related to arthritis.