Category Archives: Exercise

Exercise as medicine for arthritis treatment

exerciseWhile the role of exercise in driving down blood glucose and in
improving cardiac function is well know, less is evident about it’s beneficial effects in arthritis.

Exercise is an extremely important component of the treatment of arthritis.  Low impact cardio improves blood flow to the joints.  Resistance training strengthens ligaments and tendons.  And stretching maintains flexibility. Joint health is important for maintaining quality of life. After all what good is it if your blood sugar is fine and your ticker is working if you can’t be active?

With the bulging Baby Boomer demographic, the role of exercise in maintaining health, reducing medication requirement, and ameliorating co-morbid conditions is critical.

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Don’t be a victim of arthritis myths… Arthritis treatment is effective!

Ashley Macha, writing in Health online, reported on four arthritis myths.  This was done as part of a May is Arthritis Awareness Month campaign, featuring Joe Montana, Hall of Fame quarterback.

1. Myth: Arthritis only affects the aging.  Reality: This is the most common misconception. Anyone, at any age can be affected, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The most common type is osteoarthritis, the kind due to wear and tear on the joints over time (which is what Montana has), but also rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that can occur at any age, juvenile arthritis, an autoimmune disease in children, and other types.

2. Myth: Joint health is not a serious issue. Reality: The population of those with arthritis in the United States is increasing, with approximately 70 million Americans predicted to have arthritis by 2030. It is the number one cause of disability in the United States.

3. Myth: Patients with arthritis should avoid exercise. Reality: The Arthritis Foundation recommends starting out walking or doing water workouts. Montana lifts weights to keep his muscles in shape. “When muscles are strong, it takes pressure off them [joints].” Patience White, MD, and vice president of public health for the Arthritis Foundation says resistance training can provide numerous benefits for those who suffer from arthritis. Dr. White recommends simple exercises, including hamstring and calf stretches, or weightlifting with something as simple as 16-ounce soup cans.

4. Myth: There is no treatment for arthritis. Reality: “I always thought initially that there was nothing you could do to help to ease your everyday life,” Montana said. There are medication and treatments, as well yoga moves to help ease pain, natural remedies, and new treatments are in the pipeline. Treatment also varies with the type of arthritis. There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis and each is treated differently.

There are many other myths but the key points to remember are that arthritis, when diagnosed early is very treatable and that newer treatments such as stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis look extremely promising.

For more information on arthritis treatments and other arthritis problems,  go to:

Arthritis Treatment

And don’t forget to sign up for  free weekly arthritis tips and a free copy of our special report “The Consumer’s Guide to Arthritis”

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Vigorous Exercise Reduces Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Kathryn Doyle writing in Reuters reported that, according to research published in Arthritis Care and Research, exercising more often may help to reduce certain fm-web-md

symptoms of fibromyalgia. The study included 170 fibromyalgia patients who were participating in a larger NIH-funded study.

Comment: Effective fibromyalgia treatment consists of non-impact aerobic exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication. It’s a three-legged stool.  Without all three legs, the stool won’t support itself.

For more information on arthritis treatments and other arthritis problems,  go to:

Arthritis Treatment

And don’t forget to sign up for  free weekly arthritis tips and a free copy of our special report “The Consumer’s Guide to Arthritis”

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What’s a good exercise program for arthritis?

This is one of the most asked questions when it comes to arthritis.

Exercise is an often neglected form of treatment.  I consider it as important for an arthritis patient as medication.

exercise-clipartThe three types of exercise an arthritis patient should engage in are:
1. Low impact cardio (bike, swimming, elliptical trainer).  Cardio helps with overall conditioning as well as increasing blood flow to joints.
2. Resistance (weights). Resistance training strengthens muscles that help support joints.
3. Stretching . Stretching prevents injury and keeps joints flexible. One very good form of stretching is yoga.

Exercise should be done on a daily basis.  I know this runs counter to the idea that a day of rest is needed.  The day of rest should be devoted to stretching.

Now these are general guidelines since some patients are much more into exercise than others. There are quite a few people with arthritis who are competitive athletes.

Bottom line: If you are relatively sedentary, you should start out very slowly and know your limits.  Consultation with a physical therapist is a good idea.

If you already are an experienced athlete, then you will be able to design a program that incorporates the above three components.

As a rheumatologist who also has osteoarthritis, I exercise regularly but know what I can and cannot do. One last important point is to set some goals before you start.  That will help keep you on track.

For more information on  arthritis treatments and other arthritis problems go to:

Arthritis Treatment

And don’t forget to sign up for  free weekly arthritis tips and a free copy of our special report “The Consumer’s Guide to Arthritis”

Just go here Contact