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Exercise is good for Arthritis

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

What is Arthritis

Arthritis is a medical condition that refers to inflammation of one or more joints in the body. There are many types of arthritis, but the most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in a joint wears down over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, causing inflammation and damage to the cartilage and other tissues in and around the joints.

Arthritis can affect people of all ages and can cause chronic pain and disability if left untreated. Treatment options include medication, physical therapy, surgery, and lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise.

How common is arthritis

Arthritis is a very common medical condition, affecting millions of people worldwide. The exact prevalence of arthritis varies depending on the type of arthritis and the population being studied, but here are some general statistics:

  1. Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis, and it is estimated to affect more than 32.5 million adults in the United States alone. It is also common in other parts of the world, especially in older adults.

  2. Rheumatoid arthritis: This is the second most common type of arthritis, and it is estimated to affect about 1.3 million adults in the United States. It is more common in women than men and typically develops between the ages of 30 and 60.

  3. Juvenile arthritis: This is a type of arthritis that affects children under the age of 16, and it is estimated to affect about 300,000 children in the United States.

  4. Other types of arthritis: There are many other types of arthritis, including psoriatic arthritis, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, and others, which vary in their prevalence and demographics.

Overall, arthritis is a very common condition that can affect people of all ages and demographics. It is an important public health concern and is a leading cause of disability worldwide.

f you have arthritis, it’s important to stay physically active to maintain joint mobility, reduce pain, and improve your overall health and well-being. However, you should also be careful to choose exercises that are safe and appropriate for your condition. Here are some exercises that may be helpful for people with arthritis:

  1. Low-impact aerobic exercise: This includes activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, and water aerobics, which are gentle on the joints and help improve cardiovascular health.

  2. Range-of-motion exercises: These exercises help maintain joint mobility and flexibility, and can include stretching, yoga, and tai chi.

  3. Strengthening exercises: These exercises help build muscle around the affected joints to provide more support and stability. Examples include resistance band exercises, weightlifting, and bodyweight exercises such as squats and lunges.

  4. Balance exercises: These exercises can help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls, which can be a concern for people with arthritis. Examples include standing on one leg, heel-to-toe walking, and using a balance board.

Is there research to support doing exercise when you have arthritis

Yes, there is a lot of research to support the benefits of exercise for people with arthritis. Regular physical activity can help reduce pain, improve joint flexibility and mobility, build muscle strength, and improve overall physical function and quality of life.

Several large studies have demonstrated the benefits of exercise for people with arthritis. For example, a systematic review published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research in 2015 found that exercise can improve pain, physical function, and quality of life in people with osteoarthritis. Another study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism in 2006 found that exercise can reduce pain and disability in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people with arthritis engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, spread out over at least three days per week, as well as muscle-strengthening exercises at least two days per week.

Overall, the evidence strongly supports the benefits of exercise for people with arthritis, although it’s important to talk to your doctor or a physical therapist before starting any new exercise program to ensure that it’s safe and appropriate for your specific condition.

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