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The A-Z Arthritis Toolkit – E

Hi everyone, today we are going to discuss the next letter in our list, which is the letter E.

E for Exercise

We all know how important exercise is, a sedentary lifestyle is dangerous for your physical and mental health. For arthritis sufferers exercise becomes even more crucial, which is why it takes this spot in our list.

Warning – Exercise has shown that it can ease pain in arthritic joints, as with any exercise though, know your limits. You should know your body better than anyone and you should know when you are overdoing it and pushing too hard. Whilst exercise helps us we all know that if pushed too hard it can affect us negatively.

Exercise for painful joints

The most recommended form of exercise for arthritic joints is low-impact exercise. Every morning I get up and do some stretching exercises I was taught by the physio, I then use anti-inflammatory cream and massage the joint.

I then go on my static foot bike, after half an hour on it my ankle is loosened and I am walking around relatively pain-free, with not too much of a limp.

As the day goes on and I walk about more, usually walking the dog, my ankle loosens further. Later on in the day when I have done some more activity it may start to get painful and swollen again.Young Man Napping on White Sofa in the Office Free Stock Photo Download

Time to rest!!

This is what I mean by listening to your body, you must know when to ease off and give the body time to rest and repair.

I will usually then elevate and re-apply cream and massage. This is usually getting towards the evening and I may stay elevated for the night, or if I know I want to do something else, I can get back on my bike and repeat.

Hassle versus consequence

Some people may read that routine and think it is too much hassle, they may not want to live like that. The newsflash is I don’t want to either! I am making the best of the situation I am in.

The simple fact is I know from my physiotherapy, if I do not do these exercises and keep active my joints will degrade at a lightning quick rate!

When I was getting back on my feet after the accident, the calf muscle on my injured leg had almost completely wasted away. My legs looked like they belonged to two different people!

If I become inactive and do not do my morning routine then the consequence is, for the whole day I will be severely limping when walking. This will lead to muscle wastage on the said calf again, it will also lead to knee, hip, lower back and possibly upper back problems.

I want to avoid these issues for as long as possible, one reason is calf muscle is incredibly quick to disappear and can be incredibly slow to rebuild!Jogging, Run, Sport, Jog, Sporty, Race

After experiencing arthritis in one joint I of course want to ensure it doesn’t develop in any other joints, which is why I do everything I can to walk as well as I can. I saw a chiropractor last week for the first time, just to check how my back and hips were due to walking differently.

She told me they were in very good condition with no issues at the moment, which reinforced the fact to me that I need to keep active.

Swimming confession

I mentioned earlier in the post that low-impact exercises were recommended, I went on to talk about cycling. People may have wondered why I ignored the obvious one, swimming.

Truth is I can’t swim. So that picture at the top definitely isn’t of me!

Swimming can be incredibly beneficial and for those that can swim I 100% recommend it!

It has bothered me all my life that I can’t swim and I have tried again recently while on holiday, it seems to be a psychological block that I can’t let go and take my feet off the pool floor.

Recently when I spoke with a physio he recommended that I still go to the swimming pool and just walk across the width of the pool. He said due to the body feeling lighter in the water I will be able to walk or do exercises in the water, whilst there is less pressure on the joint.

In all honesty I haven’t done this yet but it is something I intend to do, I go to Mexico at the end of the month with my wife I will give it a go there.

In the hotel pool though, not the gulf!

Stay activeClimber Rock Wall Vertical Mountain Sport

The message is stay active otherwise you will lose more function. As I have said you know your own body and know what you can take and what you can’t, so go steady!

I came across an article that explained how a day can be when suffering chronic disease and pain, the author explained it perfectly. This is the link to it here.

For information on the static bike and anti-inflammatory cream I use daily, look on the product review tab.

That’s E done! Thank you all for reading, leave any questions and comments below!

 

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Andy

12 Comments

  1. Hi Andy, This is a great post. I find if I do too much exercise or walk too far I battle with nerve pain and bad cramps. Had a spinal fusion op a number of years ago and this is still a consequence of nerve damage at that time. I don’t have arthritis although my husband has had it since childhood. Will start light exercise again.

    • Hi Jill thanks for reading and commenting!

      I am sorry to hear that you battle with nerve pain and cramps. As I said you know your body better than anyone and you know what limits you can push to. As you say start with light exercise and then you can build up to a level you are comfortable at.

  2. I love your post!! I am impressed you are working through the alphabet! There is so much information here to use in taking care of my aging joints! I am a “former” runner but my knee made me stop. Walking is my speed now but could definitely use some variation with trails and hills. I know swimming is good and I am actually a good swimmer but I don’t really like getting wet! Silly excuse but eventually I might have to jump in the pool too! Thank you for sharing your swimming story.

    • Thank you for your kind words Kathleen! I am glad there is information here that you find helpful.

      I think variation is a good idea when exercising.

      Not sure it’s a silly excuse it might become my new excuse haha or I could just learn to swim hmmm we will see.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. I know what you are talking about with hassle versus consequence. I have a bad back, and every morning, well at least 6 days per week, I wake up and do a routine for about 10 minutes just to get ready so I can go about my day. I am not even doing as much as you, and it’s annoying. If I don’t do it though, I know what the consequences are, so I HAVE to do these exercises.

    I agree with you, exercise is vitally important, especially with so many people stuck behind a computer all day. Not to mention the extra sitting time while commuting to and from work.

    I certainly appreciate your article and I thank you for getting the word out.

    • Thank you for your comments Steve!

      Yes great point about the commuting. I know it can be annoying but like we say it just has to be done if we are to have some quality of life.

      Thanks for reading!

  4. Exercise is a must for everyone I believe especially for those people who sit long hours. A simple morning routine of walking as you said can make a huge difference in our health not only for our joints. I, myself, am guilty of skipping physical activity in a day or two. This is a very good reminder to everyone, for me in particular, thank you for this.

    • Hi thanks for your comment!

      Yeah I think it can be easy to skip exercise I know I used to before I had my accident. Now I know if I skip them I will struggle all day.

      Thanks for reading!

  5. Yes, exercise can be good aliment to reduce Arthritis pain and body should be physically active to keep joints and cardio health good. With good diet program, it can be overcome to live fit life !!

    • Hi Ganesh thanks for reading and commenting, that’s the kind of positive attitude I like to hear!

  6. Hi, Andy, very interesting text! Though I know I have to move and be active more, I often tend to forget to do it. The arthritis danger is a very good reason to remember it more often!
    Your advice is fantastic. I adore both cycling and swimming, and used to do it a lot more in the past than now.
    Point taken, and I will reschedule my commitments to assure a few hours a week to make some exercise!

    • Hi Tony, yes I know it can be easy to forget when there’s no niggles or pain to prompt you.

      I hope you feel the benefit and thanks for reading and commenting!

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