Arthritis is an inflammation on one or multiple joints and affects more than 10 million people in the UK. Of the condition, there are two common forms, the first being osteoarthritis and the second being rheumatoid arthritis. While many people know that heat, cooling agents and products that contain ibuprofen or glucosamine can help manage or reduce the pain caused by arthritis, its lesser known that one of the best ways to relieve arthritis pain and manage the condition is through exercise.
Exercise helps reduce the pain caused by arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, and can prevent sore joints and stave off the condition worsening over time. Additionally, exercise aids in improving mood, providing a better quality of life and managing weight and overall health.
This is a good place to start with relieving arthritis symptoms, as it can be done at your own pace and is possible for the majority of people to take part in. Walking helps strengthen the muscles in the legs and core, which in turn shifts the pressure from the joints, reducing arthritis pain.
Exercise based in water is good for those with joint pain and arthritis as the warm water relaxes muscles, reducing pain. Water also supports the body to take strain off the spine, knees and hips and builds muscle through resistance, as water has 12 times more resistance than air.
Cycling and indoor cycling in particular is a good exercise for those looking to reduce or relieve arthritis pain as it’s a cardiovascular activity that takes pressure off the joints, unlike other cardiovascular exercises such as running. Cardiovascular exercise such as cycling also helps improve circulation.
Over time, starting slowly, yoga builds balance, flexibility and strength in the body. This shifts pressure from the joints and helps reduce arthritic stiffness whilst yoga also aids in inflammation reduction.
Like most exercise, yoga is useful for boosting mood and energy, both of which are important in dealing with health conditions, especially ones that can be as debilitating as arthritis.
Low Impact, Low Effort
Taking part in exercise doesn’t have to require leaving the house or even breaking a sweat. There are many small yet effective types of exercise that can be done at home, work or even in public to relieve arthritis pain and prevent future pain.
- Hand stretches: For those with pain and stiffness in the hands and fingers, hand stretches need no equipment to complete and can be done anywhere. Slowly, spread your digits and extend them as far as your hand will allow, fanning your hand as wide as possible, then slowly clench your hand and squeeze, before releasing and repeating in as many reps as comfortable. Resistance balls do exist to help make this exercise more effective.
- Stretching: Slowly stretching out your arms, back and legs and rotating your hands, ankles and neck after you wake up and after sitting still for a long period of time can prevent stiffness and arthritic pain before the pain fully appears and can contribute to overall flexibility.
- Chair stands: An exercise perfect for building leg muscle, chair stands can be done anywhere you feel comfortable repeatedly rising and sitting in your seat. For chair stands, use a hard, sturdy chair and slowly stand up then sit back down, trying to control the motion with your legs instead of using your arms too much to push out of the chair and avoiding falling back into the chair by dropping back down with no control. We suggest doing chair stands in repetitions of 5,10 or 15.
At Nova Detox, we stock a range of products that can ease the pain of arthritis. Hopefully you have found this blog useful but it is not a replacement for professional medical advice. If you have any medical concerns, we always recommend speaking to your GP.