Monday, April 16, 2012

Living an Active Life with Osteoarthritis

You have been having joint problems for a while and a recent trip to the doctor confirmed it; you have osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is a result from normal aging and joint use. Osteoarthritis causes joint pain, stiffness and swelling while limiting flexibility and mobility.

You are probably asking yourself, how am I ever going to do the things I love? Gardening, exercising, cooking, writing and so much more can all be affected by your osteoarthritis. While there is no cure to osteoarthritis, there are a number of ways you can make living an active life with osteoarthritis possible.

Engage in Joint-Friendly Exercises

One of the most important things you can do to treat your osteoarthritis is engage in low or non-impact exercises that will help your joints. Even though many that suffer from osteoarthritis feel pain after exercise or activity, when done correctly, movement should reduce pain and increase mobility and range of motion. It’s important to know which exercises you should be engaging in. These activities can all be increased in intensity or time length to create a cardio workout.

Low Impact Exercises

A general rule of thumb is if at least one foot is on the ground at all times, it is probably a low impact activity. Some common low impact exercises include walking, hiking and stair step machines. These activities cause little stress on your joints.

Non-Impact Exercises
The most joint-friendly activities are non-impact exercises because they do no deteriorate your bones whatsoever. These are exercises that don’t cause any jarring impact on the joints and no weight pressure. Non-impact exercises can include activities like aquatic aerobics, swimming, rowing and elliptical training.

Use the Right Equipment

Assistive devices can help you stay comfortable and mobile whether you are exercising or not. One of the easiest and most helpful things you can use is an orthopedic brace. These braces add support helping your joints function properly. You may find canes, walkers and elevated toilet seats helpful as well. Another popular in-home treatment is hot and cold therapy systems. This type of treatment can reduce swelled joints, pain and stiffness. Many people find hot and cold therapy particularly helpful after exercise.

Appreciate a Different Type of Activity

Many aspects of your life will change with osteoarthritis. If you are accustomed to doing a lot of physically strenuous and demanding activities, you may want to try new types of activities. Meeting with old friends, joining a bridge club, traveling more, keeping up with local politics are just a few of the ways you can stay mentally and physically active without straining your joints.

Listen to Your Body & Your Doctor

If you have acute arthritis, be sure to engage in activities that are not too strenuous for that part of your body. Ask your doctor if you’re straining your joints excessively and what he/she recommends.

About the Author: MMAR Medical is a premier online supplier of medical equipment including diabetic shoes, osteoarthritis knee braces, cold therapy systems and more. MMAR Medical offers the highest quality products matched with excellent customer service. From neck pain to foot pain, browse MMAR Medical’s wide selection and fine exactly what you’re looking for.

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