Can Exercise Help with Arthritis Pain? - Rheumatology Consultant London | Rheumatologist London | Dr Stephanie Barrett



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The question above is a little misleading as in almost all cases exercise is essential for managing arthritis pain. Even the simplest stretches and movements should be carried out by people with arthritis, to ensure they don’t lose flexibility, remain mobile and can deal with the levels of fatigue arthritis can bring.

Exercise is Vital for Arthritis, Why?

Exercise can help boost your general health and fitness without causing any pain to your joints. The right exercise programme, tailored to your condition and fitness levels may:

  • Provide you with more flexibility
  • Help you remain mobile
  • Give you an energy boost to make it through each day
  • Help you achieve natural, restful sleep
  • Help with weight management
  • Improve balance, posture and strength

Lack of exercise can lead to your joints stiffening up more often and becoming less flexible.

What type of exercise is suitable for Arthritis Pain?

Always speak to your medical team before considering a new kind of exercise but following could be suggested:

Strength Building Exercises

Weight training at a light and manageable level will help to increase your muscle strength. Strong muscles help to protect and cushion your joints.

Range of Motion Exercises

Range of motion exercises are very low impact. They also help to build flexibility. Muscle stiffness is both reduced and relieved through regular range of motion exercises. They work to put your joints through their full range of motion and while it may take some time to achieve this, the exercise itself helps to keep the muscles moving and the joints active.

Aerobic Exercise

Low impact aerobic exercise is recommended for general fitness. If you improve your cardiovascular health and maintain a healthy weight, less pressure is put on your joints generally and so they are naturally less stiff and sore. Low impact aerobic exercise includes things such as walking, swimming and using gym equipment such as the elliptical machine.

Exercise is not something that anyone with arthritis should avoid. Exercise will help you feel fitter and stronger. It can also help fight against deterioration and keep you mobile for longer.