Exercise for Arthritis: Defying Logic
One half of adults 65 and older have been told by their doctor they have arthritis. Arthritis causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, and can lead to disability. In fact, roughly 25% of all older adults have some degree of limitation in their ability to perform daily living activities because of arthritis. The most common types of arthritis are:
- Degenerative (or osteoarthritis), which results from wear and tear on joints over the years.
- Inflammatory, with rheumatoid and psoriatic the leading types, which results from hereditary and environmental factors.
- Infectious. Main causes of this form of arthritis are bacterial infections such as Lyme's disease and staph.
- Metabolic, of which the primary type is gout; excessive accumulation in joints of a compound called purines.
Regardless of the type of arthritis, it's logical to think that if one has a painful joint, exercise and activity should be limited, if not avoided altogether. Contrary to that logic, very extensive research shows just the opposite; those with arthritis who exercise have less pain and better function compared to those with arthritis who are not physically active. Why is that so? Exercise provides arthritis joints with these key benefits:
- The suffix “itis” in arthritis is Latin for swelling, or inflammation. Exercise increases circulation in the body and results in better delivery of oxygen and nutrients and the removal of waste products in the tissues affected by arthritis.
- By reducing swelling with exercise, muscles are stronger and better able to provide support to arthritic joints. Also, the good-quality strength exercise provided by Welcyon can substantially increase muscle strength, thereby providing joints with even more stability.
- Less joint swelling decreases the transmission and perception of pain.
- Cartilage, the hard, smooth tissue that covers the ends of bones in joints is the tissue most affected by arthritis. It receives its nutrition from fluid that results from movement. Therefore, when we move we lubricate our joints. When we're sedentary they're not.
Welcyon provides just the right forms of exercise to help those with arthritis. Combining low-impact exercise with customized exercise protocols can lead to less pain and better function!