March 12, 2012 by Dr. Kevin Shrock from Fort Lauderdale Orthopedic Surgeons in Florida
Living with arthritis pain can be challenging, and often arthritis sufferers avoid exercise and other physical activities to minimize joint irritation. While this reaction is certainly understandable, the belief that exercise worsens joint pain is a myth. A gentle, low-impact exercise regimen has been proven to lessen arthritis pain in patients of all ages, in addition to reversing weight gain and lowering risk of heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure. Here are a few low-impact exercises we recommend for arthritis patients.
• Swimming & water aerobics. Water’s buoyancy supports your weight and greatly reduces jarring impact on joints, making swimming and other water sports a great choice for arthritis sufferers. The aerobic exercise of swimming also strengthens muscles and reduces stiffness.
• Cycling. A bicycle supports a rider’s body weight, making cycling a low-impact form of exercise. For those with arthritis in the knees or hips, cycling on a flat surface may cause less soreness in the joints. A recumbent bike or exercise bike may be a better option for those with back and knee problems.
• Walking. Brisk walking improves posture, muscle tone and stamina, and offers the same aerobic benefits as jogging or running without the jarring impact on joints.
• Yoga, tai-chi, Pilates. Though not considered aerobic, these types of gentle exercise are easy on the joints while increasing flexibility, balance and range of motion. Stiffness and pain can be reduced with the stretching exercises involved in yoga.
If you are living with arthritis, these and similar low-impact forms of exercise can help you to maintain your strength and flexibility, without causing added pain. If you would like further help, please contact Fort Lauderdale Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine at (954) 400-5544 to schedule a personal consultation with one of our FL orthopedics specialists today.