Problem with Stiff JointsStiff joints due to arthritis affect many people and when they threaten to make a person immobile, exercise will keep him or her moving. There are plenty of reasons why exercise is important. Proper exercise will contribute to the overall health of a person but it will also improve the fitness without causing any pain to the stiff joints. Those who suffer from arthritis undergo a special treatment plan but almost every doctor will advise certain exercises that go along with the therapy. The exercises are good as they will make the muscles that surround the joints stronger, keep the bones strong, provide more energy throughout the day, make sleeping not such a big problem, aid a person who has problem keeping his or her weight in shape and even make a person build up his or her self confidence. The sense of well being will also improve quite a lot.
Many patients believe that exercise will only make the situation of their stiff joints worse but the truth is that exercise will only aid their aching joints. The joints will only become stiffer and provide more pain if the person does not perform any exercise. The joints need to provide a proper support for the bones. There is no better way of achieving that than making the muscles and the surrounding tissue strong. The muscles will only become weaker with the lack of exercise and that will contribute adding more stress on the joints.
However, not all exercises are good for arthritis patients. This is one of the main reasons why they need to consult their doctor about the type of exercises they should perform. The type of arthritis and the joint that is affected will determine the type of exercise. A physical therapist will be able to help as well.
Physical Exercise to Avoid StiffnessRange-of-motion exercises are a part of every exercise regime for the patients who suffer from arthritis. Apart from easing the pain, these exercises will also enhance the ability to move the joints through the full range of motion. Some of the exercises that are usually performed are raising the arms over the head and rolling the shoulders forward and backward. The doctors advise the patients to perform these exercises once every day.
Strengthening exercises are just as important as range-of-motion exercises because their goal is to make the muscles strong. Strong muscles aid in the support of joints and provide protection for them. Weight training is the type of training that the doctors recommend most often. This type of training is good because it will not only maintain the current muscle strength but it will increase it as well. However, weight training should not be performed every day but every other day. The day off will let the joints rest and allow a person to see if any swelling occurred.In addition to these two types of exercise, aerobic or endurance exercises play an essential role in treatment of stiff joints as well. The goal of these exercises is to improve the overall fitness of the patient. Through these endurance exercises a person will enhance the cardiovascular health, have more control over his or her weight and increase stamina. Due to all of these benefits the patient will have more energy. Walking, riding a bike and swimming are the endurance exercises that are used most often. These exercises should not be performed daily but up to three times per week for half an hour. If 30 minutes is too much to do at once a person can divide the exercises into three blocks of 10 minutes.
Apart from these exercises, other activities that will help a person reduce pain and improve the functionality of the joints exist as well. Any movement help, no matter how small it may be. If there is a certain workout that a person prefers or is good for him or her, he or she should not wait for too long before discussing it with the physical therapist. Yoga and tai chi help a lot of patients but it is vital to be extra careful when performing them. The instructor will answer any questions the patient has and recommend the best positions and movements.