Did you know that there’s more than 100 different types of Arthritis which exists. It can also affect individuals of any age group, ethnicity or physical condition. According to some Public Health Agencies, there are over 57% percent of people who suffer from arthritis and as a result have difficulty participating in different types of recreation or leisure activity as it hinders their mobility. It’s also been discovered that keeping as active as possible is the key.
Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis which is the most common. What it does is it’ll directly affect and attack the moving weight bearing joints of the body. The areas affected are the hands, feet, knees, hips and spine.
The exact cause or onset of Osteoarthritis is still virtually unknown, but what is known is that it’s more common for those who are sedentary, or if one happens to be overweight, which can dramatically increase osteoarthritis conditions, this especially in the knees and hips.
Osteoarthritis The Good And The Bad
In a perfectly healthy joint, the material which covers the ends of the bones and cartilage area acts as a shock absorber and a buffer whenever there’s movement in that joint.
The tips of the bones are covered with synovial fluid, which allows the end of the bone to glide as freely as possible. Those who are plagued with Osteoarthritis have cartilage in that area which is or becomes thin, and the synovial fluid then becomes thickened and inflamed. When the two are combined, the end result is a joint which becomes painful, loses mobility, and in some cases becomes deformed.
Feeding Your Joints By Exercising
Various experts in Arthritis research state that by losing as little as 10 pounds of body fat can instantly reduce the risk of developing Osteoarthritis in the knees by close to 52% percent, especially for women. Losing up to 15 pounds can dramatically cut the pain in the knees for those who are affected, so it appears weight is a key issue.
Regular exercising also helps to liquify the synovial fluid, this allowing the joints to be able to glide easier, while at the same time feeding your joints.
Cartilage is the buffer which protects the ends of the bones, depending heavily on the movement of the joint to absorb nutrients while removing unwanted waste.
The end result is that with every step you take, you’re not only strengthening that muscle and the tendons which are surrounding that joint, but you’re also helping the cartilage by helping it less susceptible to Osteoarthritis.
The following 3 Range-of-Motion exercises when performed on a daily basis can help keep your joints healthy as well as flexible and pain-free.
Body Of Motion Exercises
Knee To Chest Exercises
• Lie directly on your back and then pull your left knee up towards your chest by placing both of your hands behind the knee. Make sure that you keep the right leg as straight as possible, and the heel pressed directly into the ground.
• Then using both your arms, slowly pulse and pull your knee towards and then away from your chest, doing repetitions of 12 to 15 sets and then hold the knee tucked for up to 30 seconds.
• Repeat with the other leg.
Forward Lifting Of Arms
• Lean back against a wall keeping your buttocks, your lower back, your shoulders, and your head firmly pressed against it while your feet is placed a few inches forward in front.
• Press your lower back in and back towards the wall by pushing in your abs, and then place your shoulders back and then down.
• Extend both of your arms down directly beside you with the palms facing out. Lift both of your arms up and above your head, leading first with the thumbs. Touch the wall with your thumbs. Continue by lifting your arms up and then down for repetitions of 15.
Back Leg Lifts
• Lie flat on your stomach with a pillow directly under your hips. Then place your forehead on your fists so you can keep your neck aligned with your spine. Bend your right leg up so that the knee is now bent up at a 90 degree angle.
• Then contract the abdominal and slowly lift up the front of the right leg off the floor, pressing the heel up towards the ceiling. Hold the leg up for a few seconds and then slowly lower it.
• Perform this repetition 12 to 15 times, switch and repeat the same with the other leg.
Exercising When You Have Osteoarthritis
If you happen to have Osteoarthritis, especially severe cases, make sure that you check with your physiotherapist before you begin this or an other exercise program.
Additional Joint Maintenance Tips:
• Always allow for longer warmup periods before beginning your exercise session. This should be around 10 to 15 minutes of light activity which is recommended prior to the strengthening or aerobic workout
• Begin as slowly as possible and then progress yourself gradually
• Avoid any rapid or repetitive movements towards the affected joints
• Make sure that you set aside a few minutes every day for flexibility as well as range-of-motion based exercises, which can be the 3 which are listed above
• Add anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, up to 3 days a week for strengthening and aerobic exercise activities. Excellent forms are walking, swimming or biking, which are less stress on the joints. If that’s too difficult for you to fit in your schedule, then try 15 to 20 minutes instead, 2 times a day
• After you do your exercise, make sure that you observe the general 2 hour rule. Any muscle or joint pain which happens to last for more than 2 hours after the exercise can mean that you did too much too fast
• Make sure that you check out the programs at your local recreation center or the fitness gym for any related “Joint or Water Works” exercise programs. These specific programs were developed by various Arthritis Societies catering to joint pain and wellness care