Living with arthritis is a difficult and painful journey. Everyone doesn’t understand what it feels like to experience pain while performing simple tasks, like opening food containers or bending over. For some of us, arthritis runs in our families, but everyone’s bodies change as they age. The pain of arthritis can be treated, but there are also steps you can take to ease your pain.
At Beeson Wellness Center, we focus on techniques that help you heal from the inside out. Under the leadership of Daniel Beeson, DC, we offer a variety of ways to lessen your arthritis pain and help you be more active. When you have an understanding of arthritis, as well as the many things that you can do to help your pain, you have more control over your everyday life. With these helpful exercise tips and information, you could be living a more comfortable life with less pain before you know it.
Arthritis is caused by the wearing away of the squishy cartilage that cushions bones in joint. When this happens, bones rub together, causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Arthritis can affect any joint in your body, and when it attacks the legs, hips, and back, it’s particularly dangerous to your mobility.
Risk factors for arthritis include age and gender, as arthritis primarily affects older women. Smoking, being overweight, and sustaining injuries to your joints all increase your chances of developing arthritis.
There are over 100 types of arthritis, with the most common being osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where your body attacks healthy tissues, including your joints. We regularly treat several types of arthritis and can also help you with self-care.
This isn’t as difficult as some may think. Self-care for your arthritis is about paying attention to your body, recognizing when a motion is painful, and easing into a consistent and varied routine. Here are some exercises that may help your arthritis.
Raising your arms, slowly rolling your head around your shoulders, and other movements like these can help your body get used to more activity. Range-of-motion exercises heighten your flexibility and can give you a good stretch.
If you would prefer to exercise with others, group fitness classes could be a good option. We can suggest a class that’s a good fit for you. Group exercise classes like yoga and tai chi are generally considered safe and effective for people living with arthritis.
Gentle weightlifting using light weights can help build muscle, which supports your bones and joints. Maintaining an active lifestyle is the best prevention for arthritis, but starting a gentle strengthening routine can help you maintain and strengthen the muscle mass that you have.
Walking, swimming, or aqua-fitness classes, ellipticals, and bicycling are challenging and rewarding exercises that can be done with minimal impact on your joints. If you live near a school with a track, contact the school to see if they allow the track to be used by the community.
Do you walk your dog? Do you walk to your grocery store? What about a couple of trips to up and down your steps? Any kind of low-impact exercise helps you stay active, keeps blood flowing, and help keep your joints moving.
We’re here to help you. Not only can we show you examples of specific exercises, but we can help you make better food choices to help with weight loss if needed. If exercise isn’t working for you, we also offer other holistic treatment options. Call our office in Portland, Oregon, to schedule an appointment or send us an online message.