Reduce the Effects of Arthritis

Edited by Olivia, Lynn, Jonathan V. Lomabao, Alma and 2 others

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Are your knee joints and hips giving you trouble every time you move around or stand up? Do you hear a creak when you move after sitting for an extended period of time? Having arthritis pains again? Is there a way to ease the pain?

Did you ever wonder why it is that during the cold and winter months, your arthritis gives you trouble? There is no related study that cold weather does affect the intensity of arthritis pain. The most plausible explanation would be the amount of movement that you make when you feel cold.

During cold and winter months, some of you may huddle beside the fire or lounge around the house. The more that you don't move your joints, the more painful it becomes. However, before you start exercising, you should check with your doctor about what type of arthritis you have.

There are two types of arthritis: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. You can easily distinguish what arthritis you have by looking at the inflamed joint. Rheumatoid arthritis's main symptom is a red and inflamed joint. Another distinguishing factor in rheumatoid type of arthritis is that it is usually symmetrical - meaning it affects the left and right joint.

The one and only activity to ease arthritic pain is movement. In this case, the recommended method for an arthritic person is exercise. The recommended exercises for a person with rheumatoid arthritis are strengthening exercises in order to maintain joint function. For individuals with osteoarthritis, exercises of non-weight bearing types are recommended. This is the reason why it is important to be sure what type of arthritis you have before you start with your exercise.

Exercises Recommended for Individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis

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    Water Aerobics
    This type of exercise is the same with aerobics done on hard ground. The only difference is, your body's weight is assisted by the water's buoyancy. As such, there is less pressure on the knee joints in bearing your weight. The joints are moved easily, relieving the pain easier. These exercises do not require that you know how to swim. The water is usually maintained at the level of your waist. When immersed in water at this level, your body carries 50 percent of your body weight. If the water is at your chest level, your body supports 35 percent of your body weight.
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    Deep Water Treading
    Just like any exercise, deep water exercise joint movements. It helps to relieve the pain of arthritis, and it also helps to maintain mobility of the joint. Middle age individuals who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis can get their intense work out from deep water treading.
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    Kick boarding Exercises
    A kickboard is a flotation device used by students who are being taught about the basics of swimming. Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis can use the kickboard as a flotation device while focusing the exercise on their legs. Kicking and bicycling in water can be accomplished with the kickboard.
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Exercises Recommended for Individuals with Osteoarthritis

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    Flexibility Exercises
    These exercises can be accomplished even when sitting or at the office. They are also called range of motion exercises. Range of motion exercises does not need so much effort. It only helps to strengthen the involved part and helps to relieve arthritic pain by moving the affected joint.
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    Cardio-Respiratory Endurance Exercises
    Middle age and active individuals who experience osteoarthritis can also start on these exercises. It not only relieves the pain of the arthritis, but it also helps to strengthen the muscles and maintain the function of the affected extremities.
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It is important that these exercises are coupled with recommended medications to maintain and ensure that pain is minimized. Movement starts to become limited by joint pain brought about by arthritis, but can only be relieved by movement. Thus, it is important to consult a health care provider before starting any exercise that you take an interest in.

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Questions and Answers

What non-painful exercises can I do to increase my range of motion?

You can regularly do workouts on the treadmill and include some hand movements using the dumb bell. You can do this first for 10 minutes each time, and then increase the number of minutes little by little as you get used to it. Adding about 5 minutes each day will be able to increase your range of motion and also increase the number of activities that you do with it, like more complicated hand movements, will certainly help a lot.

Should I take Motrin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen or aspirin to avoid pain while doing range of motion exercises?

I wouldn't recommend to take these drugs to prevent pain while doing range of motion exercises because these drugs are primarily indicated to treat pain present in the body not as a prophylaxis to prevent pain.

Additionally, the drugs Aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen belongs to Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs or simply NSAIDs which has four major effects in the body and these are: analgesic (pain reliever), anti-coagulant (reduces blood clot formations), anti-pyretic (fever reducer) and anti-inflammatory (reduces swelling). If you take these drugs for the purpose of pain prevention, it may minimize the pain but it may also do additional harm to your body if you have a certain disease like Hemophilia. Hemophilia is a genetic disease which makes the body prone to bleeding (internal or external) and taking these drugs will only promote further bleeding because one action of these drugs is to prevent blood clotting. Also, because of the reduced clotting formation of the blood, you may experience nosebleeds, bleeding from your gums, internal bleeding, increased blood pressure or even stroke.

The proper way to avoid or minimize pain while doing range-of-motion exercises is for you to do warm-up exercises first before engaging yourself to ROM exercises. The rationale behind it is to properly stretch the muscles on your body and to promote aerobic exercise in the muscles preventing the formation of lactic acids in the muscles (un-aerobic exercise) resulting to body pain.

To properly use the above medications to treat pain during range-of-motion exercises, it is always a good practice to consult first any health professionals for proper instructions in the use of these drugs, or if you don't have any medical diseases or conditions, you can take the above drugs to manage pain and inflammation on your body provided that you take these drugs based on the label dosage. If you suddenly experience nosebleeds, difficulty in breathing or dizziness, stop taking these drugs and report immediately to your doctor.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Eng, Alma, Jonathan V. Lomabao

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