Arthritis is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. A musculoskeletal disease that causes painful inflammation and stiffness in the joints, arthritis can affect anyone at any time, although it is most commonly found in adults in their late 40s and early 50s.
There are two main types of arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by ‘wear and tear’ on the joints, while Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an autoimmune disease which actually causes the body’s own immune system to attack the joints and cause painful inflammation and swelling.
While there is sadly no cure for either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, there are many treatments available to relieve the symptoms of the condition such as anti-inflammatory pain relief from a Prescription Doctor, and physical therapies such as hydrotherapy and physiotherapy.
Recent studies show that exercise could be helpful for arthritis sufferers too, and so we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 Exercises for Arthritis for those who prefer to treat their ailments with natural non-pharmaceutical remedies…
Best Exercises for Arthritis
Exercising not only keeps your joints supple, but it also helps ease inflammation and strengthen the muscles, and so it can be very beneficial to arthritis sufferers. Before starting any new exercise plan, you should discuss it with your GP.
Easy, free, and suitable for all levels of physical fitness, walking is the perfect exercise for arthritis suffers. Pay attention to your posture, with your back straight and stomach muscles tight.
Keep your ankle joints nice and supple with regular Ankle Rotation exercises. Sitting upright in a chair, lift both feet off the ground directly in front of you and rotate your feet first in one direction, then in the order.
Ideal for people with joint pain, water aerobics allows you to move around freely in the water without putting any pressure on painful hips, knees and ankles.
The hands and wrists are commonly affected by arthritis, and so it is essential that you keep them supple with gentle hand exercises. Try stretching your fingers out as wide as they will go before squeezing your hand into a tight fist. Use a foam ball if more comfortable, and try in a warm bath if your hands are particularly swollen.
Particularly useful for people with rheumatoid arthritis, Yoga can help promote a healthy immune system, which in turn reduces joint inflammation.
If you have limited mobility, knee raising exercises could be the perfect choice for you. Simply sit upright in a chair with your back supported, and lift your knee as high as you can before slowly lowering it back to the floor. Alternate each leg several times per day.
Stretching is believed to be beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, and it is something that you can do anywhere at any time of the day. Stretch your shoulders, neck, back, hips and calf muscles. Just be careful not to overdo it.
Not your typical exercise, we know, but gardening can help you stay active, get some much needed fresh air, and relive the depression that many arthritis sufferers face.
Strengthening the legs is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation in the ankles, knees and hips. The Chair Stand exercise is incredibly easy and all you need is a chair. Simply stand in front of the chair and lower yourself slowly into the sitting position, focusing on controlling your legs, before standing back up again.
A low impact exercise, Tai Chi involves a series of smooth, slow movements that strengthen the core, improve mobility and ease pain. A great choice for arthritis patients.