Arthritis is a common problem for many senior citizens and is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. Staying active and participating in exercises like brisk walking and swimming can help.
Arthritis is a common issue for many senior citizens and one of the major causes of disability in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the problem affects over 54 million Americans but is likely to increase to 78 million people by 2040.
Arthritis is characterized by pain in the joints and about a quarter of everyone who suffers from arthritis deal with severe joint pain while half report having persistent pain. The condition causes swelling in the joints, the point where two bones meet such as your knees and elbows.
The condition does not discriminate, it affects people of all ages, sexes, and all races and ethnicities. However, it is most prevalent among older adults.
What Is Arthritis?
As before, arthritis is a very common disease that causes inflammation in one or more joints. It is not a single disease but a way to refer to joint pain or joint disease. The Arthritis Foundation says that there are more than 100 types of joint diseases, it is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States.
The main symptoms associated with arthritis is joint pain and stiffness, the problems will generally exacerbate as you age. Other symptoms include:
- Decreased range of motion and movement
Exercises For Arthritis
If you are dealing with arthritis, participating in joint-friendly physical activities can help to improve issues related to arthritis such as pain, function, mood, and quality of life. Joint-friendly physical activities are described as low-impact, which means that they put less stress on the body and reduces the risk of injury.
There are a number of joint-friendly activities and exercises, such as walking, biking, and swimming. Physical activity can even help people manage their arthritis and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Staying active and changing your activity levels depending on your arthritis symptoms can lead to a number of health benefits. It is best to remember that some physical activity is better than none.
Some examples of exercises that you can do to help your arthritis symptoms include:
- Brisk walking
- Group exercise classes
To experience major health benefits, try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.
It should be noted that some specific exercises and activities hold a number of benefits that can not only impact arthritis symptoms but other aspects of physical and mental health as well
For example, aquatic exercises can be extremely effective for individuals that have medical limitations such as arthritis. In fact, one study found that “there is an increasing body of evidence that aqua therapy increases fitness and mobility in patients with rheumatoid arthritis without exacerbating their symptoms”.
Not only that but aquatic exercises can hold a number of benefits when it comes to weight regulation and the cardiovascular system. Moreover, it is considered an extremely safe exercise due to the fact that it is less likely to cause falls.
One activity that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle is gardening. It’s a rich and rewarding activity that can stimulate the senses and provide a number of benefits your physical health. Some of the many benefits of gardening include increased physical activity, increased mobility and flexibility, a sense of accomplishment, reduces stress, increased happiness, and more.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the S.M.A.R.T. method when it comes to increasing your starting physical exercises:
- Start low, go slow — when beginning or increasing physical activity, start slow and pay attention to how your body reacts.
- Modify activity when arthritis symptoms increase, try to stay active — arthritis symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and fatigue, may come and go. Try to modify your activity to be as active as possible without making your symptoms worse.
- Activities should be “joint friendly” — Choose activities that are low-impact and easy on the joints such as walking, bicycling, water aerobics, or dancing.
- Recognize safe places and ways to be active — Safety is the most important thing when it comes to starting an activity plan. If you are not sure exactly how to begin, an exercise class may be a good option.
- Talk to a health professional or certified exercise specialist — A doctor is a great source of information when it comes to physical activity. Health care professionals and certified exercise professionals can be there to answer your questions.
For those dealing with an extreme case of arthritis, there are treatment methods that are available for many types of arthritis, the main goals of which are to reduce the symptoms and improve the victim’s quality of life. There are a number of options for people who are looking to preserve joint function and mobility.
Medications like analgesics can help to reduce pain but have no effect on inflammation. Some common examples of analgesics include Tylenol, Percocet, OxyContin, and more. Other medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are effective in reducing both pain and inflammation. If the problem becomes severe enough, surgery is an option in order to replace or repair joints.
Arthritis is a common disease and is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States, with over 50 million Americans suffering from the problem. Unfortunately, this number is only set to rise as the population continues to age. However, there are a number of different exercises and activities such as brisk walking or aquatic exercise that you can start to include in your daily routine to prevent and manage arthritis symptoms.
For some people, arthritis can become so debilitating that it can interfere with day-to-day life. When this becomes the case, it is best for you to look for a caregiver or assisted living facility that can help your loved one. Landmark Senior Living is one facility that can help provide your loved one with the care that they require to keep them healthy and happy at this stage in their lives. If you are interested in learning more, please visit our website and schedule a complimentary walkthrough of one of our facilities.