More than 50 million Americans have arthritis, a painful condition that can grow worse over time and become debilitating in older age. Research shows that moderate activity can help improve functioning and even prevent the progression of arthritis. So it’s especially important for arthritis sufferers to exercise regularly. This can present a challenge, given the pain associated with the disease. How do you keep moving with arthritis pain?
Experts say the key is to recognize the kinds of pain that are normal and those that indicate you’ve done too much. For example, some mild pain or discomfort when you first start to move is typical. If you start to feel better after a few minutes of activity, keep going. But if you have moderate to severe joint pain during exercise, however, stop — your joint is too inflamed and may need treatment.
Keep in mind that intense workouts aren’t necessary for you to reap the benefits of exercise. Workouts that are too advanced for your level may cause an injury unrelated to arthritis. Make sure to ease into exercising again if it’s been a while since you’ve been active. Look up lighter exercises when you first decide to keep moving with arthritis pain.