HOW EXERCISE AIDS PAINFUL OSTEOARTHRITIS
How exercise aids painful osteoarthritis is a know-it-all post about osteoarthritis. Please note, there are different types of arthritis. Rheumatoid (inflammatory) and osteo (bone) arthritis are very different, but both cause pain. How To Stay Fit with RA, will tell you all about exercise and rheumatoid arthritis. This post is going to focus on your bone pain from osteoarthritis and how exercise aids painful osteoarthritis.
WHAT CAUSES OSTEOARTHRITIS?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease. Each of your bones has cartilage cushioning its ends. This cartilage makes movement smooth and pain free, ensuring our bones are not rubbing together where they meet. Over time or because of injury, this cartilage starts to become stiff and less elastic and eventually will degenerate, waste away. This is osteoarthritis. Stiff spots form little divots in the cartilage, they become bigger and eventually the cushion at the end of your bone wears away. This is why you can have osteoarthritis in ANY JOINT. Fingers, wrists, shoulders, hips, knees and so on!
If you have an injury in a joint, it is likely to become stiff and degenerate, developing osteoarthritis at any age. Two things can cause osteoarthritis in a younger person. First, injury and second genetics. Injury will cause cartilage to breakdown and genetics play a party for some people, in how quickly their bones become arthritic.
WHAT MAKES OSTEOARTHRITIS PAINFUL
You may have figured this out as you were reading the above paragraphs. Imagine what happens when the cartilage starts to become stiff and loses elasticity, rubbing bone against bone. This happens as you move, over and over. This is what creates your pain. Our bodies were built to move. We are often in motion. It can be painful, but exercise aids osteoarthritis.
Symptoms include joint pain and aches, as well as pain that comes with overuse OR too much inactivity! If you have arthritic fingers, you may develop large bumps in and around the joints of each knuckle. Osteoarthritis in the weight-bearing joints is most common, with the knees and hips being especially susceptible.
THE CONUNDRUM MOVEMENT WINS
Now, you have pain and movement hurts! The tendency is to MOVE LESS! This is not going to help and in fact, may cause more harm than good. Exercise aids painful osteoarthritis! YOU REALLY DO NEED TO KEEP MOVING!
- You can treat your osteoarthritis with anti-inflammatory drugs (be sure to speak to a Primary Care Provider with regard to harm and side effects from these drugs), which will bring down any swelling in the area and decrease pain. You can also use hot and cold therapy.
- Exercise Can Ease Osteoarthritis Pain is a WebMD article about pain and movement with osteoarthritis. There are a few reasons that exercise helps this pain.
- Strengthening the muscles in and around the painful joint will, decrease the pressure on the joint, bring down the pain.
- Keeping the soft tissues in and around the joint flexible and moving well, will aid the joint through range of motion and make movement less painful.
- When you move your joints they are naturally lubricated. The synovial fluid of the joint circulates when you move. Dry joints create more pain. Lubricated joints will hurt less. This is hugely important and if you need help with what movement for what joints, see your doc and get a referral to physiotherapy. There is also endless information online, just be cautious of your source!
- There are devices, supports etc. that can help you when building strength in an arthritic joint.
WHAT YOU EAT CAN HELP TOO!
Sugar, fats, heavy carbohydrates, alcohol, MSG and salt can increase the pain in your arthritic joints!
The good news is that there are a lot of foods you can choose to help too!
- Plant-based oils (also oily fish).
- Foods rich in vitamin C, D, and calcium. Most “milk” products, whether dairy or plant-based are fortified with these.
- Dark leafy greens are rich in vitamin D. Kale, spinach, chard and collard greens.
- Broccoli is full of vitamin K, C and a compound known as sulforaphane, shown to slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
- Green tea and its antioxidants, slow the damage to the cartilage.
- Nuts, with high levels of calcium, magnesium, zing, vitamin E and fibre, also have oils that help osteoarthritis.
MADE TO MOVE
We begin moving our bodies before we are born and we want to keep moving them as long as possible. The GREAT THING about movement, is that it is medicinal in many ways. If you develop osteoarthritis, either from an injury, age or otherwise, be sure to give the area time to heal. Get advice from a medical or physical health profession. Then, get yourself moving, slowly and carefully and keep moving!
When I introduced myself to my first Fat and Fit clients, way back in 2000, I told them that once they started moving their bodies, they would always need and WANT to move their bodies. Be kind to your joints, address your pain and that is HOW EXERCISE AIDS YOUR PAINFUL OSTEOARTHRITIS!