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Role of exercise in arthritis management

Arthritis affects millions of people across the world every year. It has impacted considerable amount of people. As per data available on the internet, around 70 people out of 1,00,000 are affected every year by Arthritis. Nearly half of adults with arthritis have persistent pain. Incidence of RA in Women are about two to three times higher than men. Hormones in both genders may play a role in either preventing or triggering it. It affects Children as well causing Pain

Here are recommended pain management strategies that can help people with arthritis, control their pain.

Engage yourself with Physical activities

It is advised that one who is suffering from Arthritis to begin physical activities that is lighter on the joints. By doing this you can improve your arthritis pain, thresh hold, movement, mood, and quality of life. Joint-friendly physical activities are low-impact, which means they put less stress on the body, reducing the risk of injury. You can engage in joint friendly activities like walking, cycling, and swimming. Staying physically active is of high importance and can also delay the onset of arthritis-related disabilities. Physical activities offer better quality of living and manage other chronic conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.

Keep a check on your weight: It is observed that majority of those with arthritis are either obese or overweight. Maintaining adequate body weight reduces the stress on the joints. Follow a healthy regime and consume nutritional diet. If required, get a nutritionist service and create a plan to lose that extra weight. This would help a great deal in reducing the stress on the joints and reduce the pain and improve mobility. Include a healthy diet comprising of leafy vegetables, nuts, fresh fruits, berries, tomatoes, olive oil, fish.  The berries like strawberry, cherries and oranges are great in reducing weight and joint pain among arthritis patients. Avoid foods rich in calories, white bread, and pastries, french fries, soda, oily food and red meat.

Many ways of staying active and managing arthritis from home

There are a wide variety of physical activities that you can do to keep yourself physically active and manage Arthritis. Low-impact aerobic activities do not put stress on the joints. You may include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, water aerobics, light gardening, group exercise classes, and dancing.

Carrying out the following exercise regimen without breaks in between can create better health benefits:

  • Do at least 30 to 40 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like cycling at less than 15 KM per hour, or
  • 15 to 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, like cycling at 10 KMPH or faster, each week.
  • Another option is to do a combination of both. It is to be understood that 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

In addition to aerobic activity, you should also do muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week. This will help the muscles develop strength and flexibility.

Muscle-strengthening exercises include lifting weights, working with resistance bands, and yoga. These can be done at home, in an exercise class, or at a fitness center.

Flexibility exercises: Many people with arthritis have joint stiffness that makes daily tasks difficult. Doing daily flexibility exercises including specific Yogasanas helps maintain range of motion so you can keep doing everyday things like household tasks, hobbies, and visiting with friends and family.

Routine household chores can be a great way to be active too: Alongside regular exercise, one can get away from the boredom by converting the daily household chores into modes of being active. Cleaning your living room, Gardening, Vacuuming, or cleaning out the library / garage / storeroom are great ways of staying active at home.

Balance exercises like walking backwards, standing on one foot are important for those who are at a risk of falling or have trouble walking. Do balance exercises 3 days per week if you are at risk of falling. You may also join group exercise classes.

Treatment for Arthritis.

Predominantly Doctors focus on relieving symptoms and improving joint function. But incase of prolonged pain and discomfort you may be advised to try different treatments, or combinations of treatments. You may stick to what works best for you.


First line of treatment is through medications. The medications used to treat arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis. Commonly used arthritis medications include: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Pain Relieving Gels / Creams / Ointments / Sprays, Steroids, Antirheumatic Drugs.


Alongside Medications, Physiotherapy can be helpful for some types of arthritis. Exercises can improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints. In some cases, splints or braces may be suggested.


Doctors may suggest surgery as the final option if conservative measures are of little or no help. doctors may suggest surgery, such as:

Joint repair: Joint repair may be an option for patients such as those with early arthritis whose joints have not become so severely damaged that they require joint replacement surgery.  In some instances, joint surfaces can be smoothed or realigned to reduce pain and improve function. These types of procedures can often be performed arthroscopically — through small incisions over the joint.

Joint replacement: This procedure is done to remove part or all the damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial one. Joints most commonly replaced are hips and knees.

Joint fusion: This procedure is more often used for smaller joints, such as those in the wrist, ankle and fingers. It removes the ends of the two bones in the joint and then locks those ends together until they heal into one rigid unit.

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