Strength and flexibility for arthritis
World Arthritis Day was established in 1996 and since then has been educating and supporting people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases and their caregivers.
There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis and related diseases. The most common types include osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Over 86,000 people in the London census area report living with pain that restricted activities and many of them would have one of these forms of arthritis or related diseases.
Osteoarthritis is the “wear-and-tear” form of arthritis and is the most common chronic condition of joints. There’s no specific cause but several factors can contribute including excess weight, overuse, injury and genetics.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis isn’t fully understood.
There are five types of psoriatic arthritis and they too are autoimmune disorders. About 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.
For many forms of arthritis working on strength and flexibility can help increase your activity level. Depending on the level of your arthritis pain, it may be good to start with water exercise or simple walking. It’s good to challenge yourself to increase your level of exercise as your pain permits.
Non-weight bearing cardio exercises may be better for arthritis in the knees or hips such as biking or using an elliptical.
Strengthening muscles around the affected joints can increase function and decrease pain. Flexibility and range-of-motion exercises are also a great way to manage arthritis to allow proper joint mobility.
Stretching and strength training are good companions. The Our Clinic’s Exersmart program can develop an age-and-abilities appropriate exercise plan with personal modification by our kinesiologist to support your arthritis and pain management.