Exercise is very necessary for the arthritic. It can relieve the symptoms of arthritis and protect joints from further damage. It
- Helps maintain joint movement.
- Increases muscle flexibility.
- Helps maintain weight. This reduces pressure on joints
- Helps keep bone and cartilage tissue strong and healthy
- Improves endurance and cardiovascular fitness
To help relieve pain, people with arthritis often keep affected joints bent - especially those in the knees, hands and fingers - because it`s more comfortable during the early stages of arthritis. While this may temporarily relieve discomfort, holding a joint in the same position for too long can cause permanent loss of mobility and hinder the ability to perform daily activities.
Stretching or flexibility exercises help maintain normal joint function. Affected joints are conditioned by gently straightening and bending the joints as far as they comfortably will go. The joints are stretched progressively farther until normal or near-normal range is achieved and maintained.
Strong muscles help keep weak joints stable and protected against further damage. There are several types of strengthening exercises that, when performed properly, can maintain muscle tissue without aggravating affected joints.
Some people with arthritis avoid exercise because of joint pain. However, a group of exercises called isometrics will help strengthen targeted muscle groups without bending painful joints. Isometrics involve no joint movement, but rather strengthen muscle groups by using an alternating series of isolated muscle flexes and periods of relaxation.