Patients with osteoarthritis find it difficult to perform even the most tedious everyday tasks—let alone exercising. However, exercising is very important for such patients as it improves the health of their joints, keeps their weight in check, and improves general well being. So, how should such patients go about exercising in a way that’s both safe and painless? Read on to find out.
1-Protect your joints:
Well, first and foremost, protect your joints against injury and there are multiple ways to do this. Keep the impact of the exercises low so that your joints can move without stress. Elliptical machines and stationary cycles are a great way to start.
Applying heat before starting is another way to relax the joints, so they can be pain-free during activity period. You can apply heat in the form of hot packs, showers or even warm towels. Just make sure that you apply heat only for twenty minutes.
Start the exercise slowly and gradually build up. Don’t expect too much from your body, or you will end up inflaming the muscles. During the period of exercise if you feel any sharp pain, then immediately stop exercising.
Ice the joints if there is any redness or pain. Mild discomfort is to be expected but if you notice moderate swelling or pain then discuss it with your doctor.
2-Always, always warm up:
Just like applying heat is a good idea to get the blood moving to the joint, warming up is a great idea to get the blood to the joint. Warming up is an essential step for everyone who plans to work out, but this step is crucial for osteoarthritis patients as their joints need special attention.
3-Opt for swimming:
Swimming uses water as the resisting force and its buoyancy supports the body weight and does not put due stress on the joints. Thus swimming and aqua aerobics is a great idea for arthritic patients. If you are not comfortable with the water temperature, then you can opt for heated hydrotherapy pools that are easier on the joints, and more fun too.
Once you get into the flow of exercising, then maybe upgrade to resistance training. This type of exercise is designed to build up the muscle and stabilize joints. Try going for resistance training exercises twice a week, or even less if you are not comfortable.
Start with light weights and progress cautiously forward. A great form of resistance training is Pilates that you can perform as frequently as three times per week. You will become stronger gradually, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself at the get-go.
5-Exercise less but more often:
Long exercise sessions can be tiring and put more strain on the joints. To prevent injury and to get the most out of your workout, try exercising for less time, but increase the frequency of your workouts.
If you suffer from arthritis and need help in planning out your exercise sessions, then seek a professional’s help. Book an appointment with top orthopaedic surgeons in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.