Physical activity is a simple and effective way to relieve arthritis pain, improve function, mood, and quality of life for adults with arthritis. Joining us on this week's House Call is Dr. Olayemi, Rheumatologist at UHC Rheumatology.
1). What we should be considering concerning physical activity if we have arthritis?
If you have arthritis, participating in joint-friendly physical activity can improve your arthritis pain, function, mood, and quality of life. Stay as active as your health allows, and change your activity level depending on your arthritis symptoms. Some physical activity is better than none.
Joint-friendly physical activities are low-impact, which means they put less stress on the body, reducing the risk of injury. Examples of joint-friendly activities include walking, biking, and swimming. Being physically active can also delay the onset of arthritis-related disability and help people with arthritis manage other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
2). Is weight a concerning with regard to arthritis?
Losing excess weight and staying at a healthy weight is particularly important for people with arthritis. For people who are overweight or obese, losing weight reduces stress on joints, particularly weight bearing joints like the hips and knees. In fact, losing as little as 10 to 12 pounds can improve pain and function for people with arthritis. For every 10 pounds of weight lost over 10 years, on can reduce their chance of developing knee OA by
up to 50%. At any age, low-impact, arthritis-friendly physical activity (like walking) and dietary changes can help you lose weight.
3). You mentioned stress on joints, how can you protect your joints?
Joint injuries can cause or worsen arthritis. Choose activities that are easy on the joints like walking, bicycling, and swimming. These low-impact activities have a low risk of injury and do not twist or put too much stress on the joints. You can learn more about how to exercise safely with arthritis by going to www.rheumatology.org.
It is also important for you to take steps to minimize or prevent injuries to joints, such as wearing protective equipment and avoiding repetitive motion joint damage.
4). How important is it to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing join pain or arthritis symptoms?
It is very important to have a conversation with your doctor if you have joint pain and other arthritis symptoms. It’s vital to get an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible so you can start treatment
and work to minimize symptoms and prevent the disease from getting worse.
The focus of arthritis treatment is to
· Reduce pain.
· Minimize joint damage.
· Improve or maintain function and quality of life.
You can play an active role in controlling your arthritis by attending regular appointments with your health care provider and following your recommended treatment plan. This is especially important if you also have other chronic conditions, like diabetes or heart disease.