Arthritis UpdateLet's Get Physical!
If you've been diagnosed with arthritis, you know that all sorts of things can trigger discomfort in the affected joint. Perhaps a change in the weather or overuse of that particular joint is enough to bring on an agonizing spell of pain.
While it may seem hard to believe that more activity won't just make the problem worse, exercise is actually one of the best things you can do to help prevent or control your pain and continue to maintain a maximum range of motion.
Exercise has four distinct benefits for arthritis sufferers. First, it helps you maintain your general body conditioning. Second, it helps you stay at your current weight. This is important because it keeps you from putting even more stress on your joints. The third benefit of exercise is that it keeps your muscles in good condition, which helps them to better protect your joints. Finally, since cartilage and joints don't have blood vessels, they must get nourishment from fluids. Exercise keeps fluids flowing to the joints.
Your physician or physical therapist (if your doctor refers you to one) can recommend an exercise program that's right for you. Appropriate, regular exercise - especially stretching or yoga - will most likely increase your flexibility and your strength and help you go about your daily business with less pain and fatigue.
When Enough is Enough
With an estimated 43 million Americans currently suffering from arthritis, it has become the leading cause of pain and disability in the United States. And when arthritis becomes so severe that it cripples the patient, joint replacement surgery is often recommended.
Joint replacement is most commonly performed on the hip or knee and involves replacing one or more parts of a damaged joint with a plastic or steel device.Return to LEARN MORE