Arthritis diseases causes swelling up of joints, pain, stiffness and even destruction and erosion of bones, tissues and muscles. Most often in rheumatoid arthritis the autoimmune diseases affect the connecting tissues and medical attention is needed. While the patient undergoes that following an exercise regularly can also help in reduction of the problems and joint pains, increasing the flexibility of the muscles, tendon, and the joints.
Types of Exercises
In arthritis generally three types of exercises can help, they are flexibility exercises (stretching, range-of-motion), resistance or strengthening exercise, and cardiovascular or endurance exercise (aerobic).
Flexibility Exercise (Stretching, Range-of-motion) – One should start the exercise regime with gentle stretching exercises as it will help in not only increasing the flexibility of the joints but prepare oneself for the further strenuous exercises. These stretching exercises are like warm-up exercises and release the tension from the body and doing them in the morning eases the stiffness of the joints. Flexibility or stretching exercises are generally done for 15 minutes at a stretch and can be done at land or water (pools, bath-tubs and even warm baths).
Motion-exercises can be Tai chi, which helps in reducing pains mainly those with acute knee osteoarthritis and improving in the balance while reducing stress. Yoga on the other hand relaxes the muscles reduces the stiffness caused due arthritis, at times even weight loss exercises helps with the patients suffering from overweight problems.
Resistance or Strengthening Exercises – Strong muscles are needed when one is suffering from arthritis as it helps in lessening the pressure on the joints as well as works as better shock absorbers and protects the joints from getting injured. Strengthening exercises can be of two types: Isometric and Isotonic.
Isometric exercise helps in tightening the muscles where the joints need not be moved. It is beneficial in reducing the joint stress.
Isotonic exercise involves moving the joints and mainly focuses on strengthening the joints where inflamed joints are mainly worked on and making the movements easier. As the exercises progress, with time weights can be added to increase the strength.
Cardiovascular or Endurance Exercises (Aerobic) – This exercise involves working of the muscles of the body in a continuous and rhythmic motion. It can range from swimming, cycling, walking, dancing and other forms of exercises. These workouts are for entire body and improve the endurance and strength of the bones of the entire body also helps in reducing stress, anxiety and controls the weight problems too. Generally endurance or cardiovascular exercises are done three to four times each week as part of the fitness program having 30 minute sessions in each workout.
Some Notes on Arthritis Exercises
Since there are many conditions and types of arthritis, there are multiple ways in which exercise and specific regime to follow. There are cases where exercises for arthritic patients are off-limit too, so a doctor or a therapist should be consulted before starting an exercise regime. A professional will be able to suggest the types of exercises that will be effective for a particular joint or arthritic problem.