Exercises for Osteoarthritis
It is vital you do exercises for osteoarthritis. This does not mean activity (like going for a walk) but a specifically designed regime of movements that improve the function of your affected joint.
There have been many studies into exercises for osteoarthritis showing they reduce pain and stiffness while improving function. Doing the correct exercise program will allow you to do more with less pain.
Different types of exercises for osteoarthritis improve you in different ways. Some help flexibility, while others provide better support for your worn joint while others increase muscle stamina allowing you to do more before you get pain. All of them are equally important and must be part of any program of exercises for osteoarthritis.
There are three types of tissue around your joints affected by doing exercises for osteoarthritis. They all become inflamed and painful due to the degeneration in the joint because they either have to work awkwardly or harder.
You cannot do anything without using muscle. Everything you do is done by muscles- from making your blood pump to allowing you to speak with the muscles of the face, tongue and larynx to reaching out and putting food in your mouth and then digesting that food.
There are three types of muscle: cardiac muscle that makes your heart pump, smooth muscle that moves your food along your gut, for example and skeletal muscle that makes your joints move and acts as part of the ‘scaffolding’ for the joint.
Muscles around joints with osteoarthritis are often inflamed, scarred and have reduced flexibility and strength. This makes them stiff after periods of rest and painful during activity. When you do stretching exercises for osteoarthritis you will improve the flexibility of the muscle while different types of strengthening exercises for osteoarthritis will improve the scaffolding and stamina which allows you to do more before you get pain.
Tendons attach muscle onto bone. They are fibrous but do have some elasticity in them which allows them to act like a spring. Tendons help hold the joint in place when you move but without you having to use any energy. Tendons allow the muscle to function with little change of length, increasing the muscles efficiency.
Stretching exercises for osteoarthritis will increase elasticity of the tendons. Some strengthening exercises for osteoarthritis will make a tendon stronger and so it will give you less pain and stiffness.
These are fibrous straps attaching bone to bone. They are the main joint stabilizers or scaffolding tissue and hold the bones in the correct position through the movement. They also limit the amount of movement so the joint does not dislocate. If left under tension for too long ligaments will stretch and if no tension is put through them they will shorten. As your osteoarthritis progresses and your joints become misshapen (like the hands in the picture) your ligaments will shorten or stretch in reaction to this and become inflamed.
Ligaments holding a degenerated joint tend to be chronically inflamed as the tension through them has changed and they will shorten or lengthen with the deformity. Stretching exercises for osteoarthritis will help lengthen chronically shortened ligaments while strengthening exercises for osteoarthritis will help shorten stretched ligaments.
Why Doing Exercises for Osteoarthritis is so Important.
As described above exercises for osteoarthritis will work the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the joint.
All the soft tissue around a degenerated joint is chronically inflamed. This is why anti-inflammatory drugs help this non-inflammatory arthritis.
To reduce the pain and stiffness from the soft tissue you need to do these three types of exercises for osteoarthritis:
1. Stretching Exercises for Osteoarthritis– to increase the length of the muscles and tendons and help start to stretch tight ligaments. They improve flexibility and mobility.
2. Isometric Strengthening Exercises for Osteoarthritis– these are exercises that strengthen the muscles and tendon but don’t move the joint and irritate your worn joint surface. They help mainly with with the scaffolding effect but also improve the muscle stamina so they do not get irritated as quickly allowing you to do more without pain.
3. Isotonic Strengthening Exercises for Osteoarthritis– these are strengthening exercises that move the joint as you progress. They will continue the strengthening but as the joint is moved they will also help the cartilage inside the joint. Cartilage has no blood supply and so gets nutrients from the thick, viscous fluid inside the joints (synovial fluid) and moving the joint helps ‘feed’ the cartilage.
If you do not have a program with all these three types of exercises for osteoarthritis you will not improve. Please don’t be tempted to run off and get exercises from YouTube or somewhere as you must do specifically designed exercises for osteoarthritis sufferers. What an athlete does during rehabilitation from an injury is different from what you must do.
Even if they are exercises for osteoarthritis sufferers you still don’t have the program schedule telling you how often you should do the exercises or the number of repetitions of a particular exercise you should do. It is common sense that someone with mild OA should do a different program to someone with severe.
Exercise programs MUST be given on an individual basis for the amount of degeneration you have and how your osteoarthritis affects you. There is a fine balance between doing enough exercises for osteoarthritis and doing too much.
That is why all programs of exercises for osteoarthritis should be individually designed for YOU, the amount of degeneration YOU have and how YOUR osteoarthritis is affecting YOU.
Get a Program of Self Massage and Exercises for Osteoarthritis.
Each program starts with self massage and then over the following weeks stretching, isometric and isotonic exercises are added.
You do not have to pay huge amounts of money to get an effective exercise program. Home based exercises have been shown to work well as long as you do the correct exercises in a sensible program suitable for your amount of degeneration.
How to Treat Osteoarthritis Naturally is a unique guide of simple lifestyle changes you can make, proven natural treatments with 3 levels of self massage and exercises. To make sure you do the correct level there is a easy multiple choice questionnaire ensuring you do the correct number of each exercise in a sensible schedule.
“I have followed Dr Sophie’s programme for 7 weeks as instructed for the right hip where I have degeneration.
Having completed the first 3 weeks of the exercises I noticed that I no longer had the painful symptoms in my hip from which I have suffered for a good many years. The pain usually came from the hip down the inside of my right leg and pain on weight bearing on that same side.
So far (after 8 weeks) I have had no recurrence of these pains and I am now on the Maintenance programme on a permanent basis.
So I can say that for me the programme has worked and that it is well worth the effort to complete the course. I hope that other people will also gain the same improvement by doing exercises for osteoarthritis that I have!” – Jean from Sussex”
Click on this link to read more about and to get your copy of How to Treat Osteoarthritis Naturally.