Joint pain is practically the main symptom patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) complain about. They additionally report warmth, redness and tenderness of the inflamed joints and the surrounding tissues. These clinical characteristics affect joints symmetrically and may significantly interfere in even the simplest daily activities.
Joint stiffness is in these patients the most intensive in the morning and then gradually subsides. Because of all the mentioned, it is clear that people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis need to engage in a specially designed exercise program which will provide them with more flexibility and mobility of the affected joints, helping them to function normally and not to become completely dependent on people from their surrounding.
Other Problems Patients with RA Deal with
Apart from localized health issues such patients face on a daily basis, there are also general symptoms and signs of the disease. For instance, many people commonly complain about fatigue and tiredness, occasional low-grade fever and difficulty performing daily activities. They all say how their quality of life has been significantly affected by the disease.
Such individuals may, for instance, find it hard to climb stairs or carry groceries. Even participation in certain events may not last long because they soon feel tired.
Because of all the mentioned it may be inconceivable to consider exercising as an option for these patients. However, contrary to this point of view exercises are actually quite beneficial for people with RA.
By combining proper exercises and balancing physical activity with plenty of rest, patients suffering from RA may increase their stamina, their muscles become stronger and range of motion of the affected joints significantly improves. Still, prior any kind of physical activity, these people are due to consult their health care provider who will recommend the most convenient physical activity or sport.
Exercises for People with RA
Lack of activity is known to lead to weaker muscles and may eventually cause even muscle atrophy. If joints are not used, they tend to become even stiffer. Because of that people suffering from RA should engage in physical activities that increase mobility of the affected joints and strengthen muscles around them.
Flexibility exercises are excellent means of helping muscles stay stretched and improving the function of the affected muscles. These exercises also promote comfortable movement and relieve joint stiffness.
Strengthening (resistance) exercises build muscles necessary for everyday tasks and keep muscles that protect the affected joints strong.
Finally, aerobic exercises are good for patient's heart, lungs as well as blood vessels. Apart from being good for muscles and joints, aerobic exercises additionally reduce risk of heart diseases, hypertension and diabetes. This type of exercise additionally strengthens bones, controls healthy weight and may be a powerful tool against depression and anxiety.