Manage Osteoarthritis Pain with Simple Exercises

While it may be tempting to use joint discomfort as an excuse not to exercise, people with osteoarthritis won't find significant pain relief unless they keep moving. According to the National Arthritis Foundation, moderate exercise is an essential component of any successful osteoarthritis treatment plan.

More than 40 million people in this country suffer from osteoarthritis, making it one of the leading causes of disability. It is the most common form of arthritis experienced by older people and can lead to chronic pain and stiffness in the hands, neck, back, knees, hips and feet. Osteoarthritis is the result of years of wear and tear on the cartilage, which is the tissue that cushions the ends of our joints.

When the cartilage is compromised, bones rub together causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Some sufferers mistakenly believe that "resting" the joints is the best way to relieve their symptoms. The fact of the matter is that moderate exercise helps maintain flexibility and reduces pain. It also strengthens the muscles to provide added support to ailing joints. As an added bonus, exercise helps keep off the excess pounds that stress the joints.

Fortunately, there are several simple exercises that can help relieve pain and reduce stiffness. Some of those include:

  • Hydrotherapy: Warm water exercises can be extremely beneficial to arthritis sufferers. Warm water provides soothing relief and helps support the body while the joints are gently moved through the range of motion.

  • Yoga: This is another good choice for people with osteoarthritis because it stretches not only the muscles but also the soft tissues of the body including ligaments, tendons and the fascia sheath that surrounds the muscles. It is safe for people of all ages and fitness levels.

  • Walking: A daily walk can strengthen the bones and help keep joints flexible. Many malls and fitness centers have indoor walking facilities that can be used during inclement weather.

  • Pilates: Lengthening your body through Pilates movements can help relieve stiffness. Because the movements are gentle and gradual, Pilates does not stress your joints. The focus on core muscles also leads to better posture which can help reduce osteoarthritis pain.

In addition to moderate exercise it is important to get proper nutrition and adequate rest. Many arthritis sufferers also add a nutritional supplement to their daily routine to promote flexibility and relieve pain. 

Talk to your holistic practitioner to develop an exercise plan and to identify the nutritional supplement that best meets your needs. Join the millions of osteoarthritis suffers who are conquering their joint pain and enjoying active, vibrant lives.

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