What is rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack and break down your joints. The damage is more rampant in your middle joints, especially those of your hands and fingers. RA can cause joint pain, stiffness, and deformities, as well as diminish your strength and muscle mass.
If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), chances are that you’ve been advised by your physician to avoid any type of exercise to prevent further injury to your joints.But this advice is not as reliable or helpful as it seems.
In fact, research revealed that a moderate exercise routine may help relieve chronic pain caused by these health conditions.
A study of 28 rheumatoid arthritis patients found that weight training led to improvements in basic physical function, such as walking. According to a BBC News report, the patients improved their physical function by 20 to 30 percent, and also increased their strength by almost 120 percent.
These findings strengthened the belief that exercising in moderation may be a key factor in managing rheumatoid arthritis. Exercise can help restore your strength and ability to function, so you should never underestimate its importance.
But before you embark on an exercise routine, keep in mind that inflamed joints can be vulnerable to damage. So if you’re doing the wrong exercise, you may be causing more harm than good. Make sure to strike a delicate balance between rest and activity. Beware of doing avoid activities that aggravate joint pain, as well as exercises that strain a significantly unstable joint.
Make sure your program includes a range of activities like cardio, weight training, stretching, and even core work. Try short-burst, high-intensity cardio exercises if your condition allows it.
If your joints feel sore and stiff, make sure to stretch and apply heat before exercising. If your joints are swollen, apply ice to it 10 minutes before exercising.
It is normal to feel pain while doing exercise. However, if the pain lasts longer than an hour after your exercise session, then you need to either slow down or choose another form of exercise. You can also use assistive devices to decrease the pressure on affected joints during your workout.
Keep in mind that exercise is not the only factor that can help you get rid of joint pain – you need to apply holistic strategies as well, such as eating a balanced diet, getting enough high-quality sleep, and exposing yourself to sunlight to get vitamin D.