Staying Active With Arthritis
Millions of Americans greet each day with stiff and painful joints at the hands of arthritis. The wide-reaching impact that arthritis can have on your life is considerable, often preventing you from taking part in the world around you. Our goal is to restore pain-free movement, and the first step toward that goal is exercise.
At SoCal Regenerative Medical Clinics, our team is dedicated to helping our patients achieve optimal wellness by using an integrative approach to health. As part of our wide range of services, we offer specialized arthritis treatments that can help you return to an active life. And a large piece of the arthritis treatment puzzle is exercise.
Here’s a look at why you should stay active with arthritis.
Arthritis is a catch-all term for more than 100 different diseases that cause pain and inflammation in your joints. Far and away, the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which causes the cartilage in your joints to break down. Aside from this degenerative form of the disease, other fairly common types of arthritis include rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.
The bottom line is that no matter which type of arthritis has you in its grips, you’re left coping with aching, inflamed joints that aren’t exactly ready to get up and go. Yet that’s exactly what you should be doing.
On the move
Your joints are designed for movement, and they function best when they’re regularly engaged. While exercise may seem like the last thing you want to do when joint pain strikes, by moving your joints, you can reduce the pain and inflammation.
And we’re not talking about running marathons here. To get started, we recommend incorporating a walk into your daily routine. As your body gets used to moving, you can lengthen your walks and increase their frequency. Given our location in Southern California, we have ample opportunity to get outdoors — even if it’s just for a spin around the block.
Another great addition to your arthritis treatment plan is strength training. Each of your joints is surrounded by connective tissues that help support those joints. If you endeavor to strengthen one group in particular — your muscles — they’re better able to take some of the pressure off of your beleaguered joints.
You also can combat the symptoms of arthritis is by concentrating on your flexibility and range of motion. Morning stretching exercises are a great way to start your day, helping your joints limber up.
Another highly beneficial approach to flexibility is yoga. And don’t be intimidated by the lithe practitioners who can nearly bend themselves into pretzels. Most yoga studios offer beginner classes, or you can even dial up a yoga program on your TV. The point is to move and stretch.
Aside from keeping your joints loose, exercise — no matter what kind — is an excellent way to shed any extra pounds you may be carrying. Added weight can exacerbate your arthritis, as your joints have an extra burden to carry.
To help you get started on the right exercise regimen, we urge you to come in to see us so we can tailor a program to your unique situation. We also offer several treatments, such as viscosupplementation for your knees, that can pave the way forward to a more active lifestyle.
To learn more about the benefits of staying active with arthritis, or to get started on your own exercise plan, contact one of our offices in West Covina or Anaheim, California. Call the SoCal Regenerative Medical Clinics location that’s convenient to you, or use our online appointment request tool.
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