If it hurts to raise your hand, it’s only natural to do whatever you can to avoid raising your hand. We certainly understand this. When you have stiff, pained joints from arthritis, the last thing you probably want to do is physical activity. The truth of the matter, though, is that being active is actually one of the best things you can do. At Advanced Foot and Ankle, we treat patients for a variety of arthritic conditions and consistently find that exercise has a positive effect on arthritis.
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you are living with arthritis, you need to be more active, not less. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to run marathons or attempt to set a world record for lifting weights—actually, we strongly recommend against both of those—but a smart exercise plan can provide some welcome relief from arthritis pain.
So how does exercise benefit arthritis? Well, there are several different ways, including:
- Stronger muscles to support the affected joints.
- Improved range of motion and flexibility.
- Healthy bodyweight, which leads to less force being applied to joints in the lower body.
Strong muscles, increased flexibility, and a healthy bodyweight are all instrumental for reducing the amount of pain caused by an arthritic condition, but it is important to carefully plan your arthritis workout program. Your starting point for this needs to be an appointment with our office or your primary care physician!
The first thing we will consider is the types of activities you should perform. Walking, swimming, yoga, and even weight lifting are all great options. Ideally, your workout plan will be centered on low-impact activities, instead of high-impact ones that may further exacerbate joint pain.
When you start your new workout plan, it is important to begin at an easy, light level and then gradually increase the intensity and duration over time. As we stated earlier, the goal is not necessarily to run a marathon, but rather to establish a healthy lifestyle that will ease arthritic symptoms.
If an arthritic condition is causing problems in your lower limbs, our staff at Advanced Foot and Ankle can help. We provide effective podiatric services for our patients from across the Twin Falls and Burley, ID communities (and everywhere in between). Call us at (208) 731-6321 to find out how we can help you or your loved ones. You can also schedule your appointment online for either of our offices today.