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.
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!
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.
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!
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!