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Counter Arthritis With a Good Exercise Routine

July 14, 2008

A bout of arthritis can often leave a person feeling unable to perform even simple routine tasks.

Studies have shown however, that exercise can help relieve the pain, stiffness and swelling in joints caused by arthritis.

Three types of exercise good for people with arthritis include range-of-motion exercises, to help maintain normal joint movement and relieve stiffness, strengthening to keep or increase muscle strength and aerobic or endurance exercises improve the cardiovascular system and help control weight.

Before starting an exercise program, you should always consult your doctor. Once given a go-ahead, you might consider the following suggestions for an exercise program:

_ Start with supervision from a physical therapist or qualified athletic trainer. Progress slowly, and allow your body to adjust.

_ Apply heat to sore joints prior to exercising, if will help you perform better.

_ Stretch and warm up with range-of-motion exercises.

_ Start strengthening exercises slowly with small weights.

_ Consider using cold packs after exercising. Many people with arthritis complete their exercise routine this way.

_ Add aerobic exercise, such as walking outdoors or on a treadmill, or riding a bike to your routine.

_ Ease off if joints become painful, inflamed or red, and work with your doctor to find the cause and eliminate it.

_ Consider using cold packs after exercising. Many people with arthritis complete their exercise routine this way.

SOURCE: National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Information Clearinghouse/NIH

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Edited and compiled by Chuck Myers.

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(c) 2008, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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