Arthritis impacts people of all ages, regardless of where you’re located or how active you are. As the leading cause of disability in the U.S., arthritis is a widespread concern.
If you’re one of the 53 million people who has been diagnosed with the condition, you probably already know it can be debilitating in its more advanced forms.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep pain at a minimum and stay active as long as possible. Our team specializes in helping those living with arthritis reduce the underlying cause so they can enjoy improved well-being. Here are a few ways physical activity can help manage arthritis.
Arthritis is often a result of the natural aging process. As a person gets older, the cartilage that protects the joints becomes dryer, while at the same time your body releases less of the synovial fluid that keeps those joints lubricated. The problem is, the more inactive you are, the less synovial fluid your body produces, which exacerbates the issue, making it even more painful to move around. Staying active can help keep that fluid production going, reducing the pain that happens as a result of stiff joints.
There’s a reason so much of the work you’ll do at Walker Methodist focuses on strength-building exercises. When you can build the muscles around those joints, you’ll reduce some of the mobility issues you see with arthritis. Strength-building exercises also reduce bone loss and help keep your joints lubricated. We offer many programs intended to help residents increase strength and mobility. Our two Tai Chi classes may be our most popular. We offer them each week, and participants also use equipment like a seated step trainer that can help them safely kick off an exercise program.
Another benefit of Tai Chi classes is that they help with balance, which is essential for those dealing with arthritis. As you build balance, you’ll also help prevent falls, which can be dangerous for those already living with arthritis pain. In addition to its balance-specific classes, Walker Methodist has a full list of other balance exercises its clients do with each visit.
Maintains Range of Motion
In addition to the pain they deal with each day, arthritis sufferers also have to watch as they lose the ability to move their body the way they once could. You can actually get back some of that range of motion through simple exercises that you’ll need to do every day. Each of our exercise programs is geared toward keeping those joints moving, which can maintain some of that range. Our team can also create a customized program that will help customers dealing with very specific range of motion issues.
When they aren’t at Walker Methodist, patients are given exercises they can do at home, helping them work on building balance and strength on a daily basis.
Overall, the key is to keep moving as much as possible each day. Although you won’t be able to completely eliminate arthritis-related issues, you can get them under control and find a way to live as active a lifestyle as possible.