Why It’s Important to Stay Active With Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition; about 54 million adults have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. This condition can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in your joints. If not managed carefully, it can be debilitating, significantly limiting your daily activities.

Dr. Henry N. Small is a skilled medical professional with a practice in Houston, Texas, who has over 30 years of experience as a physician and orthopedic surgeon. A compassionate doctor, Dr. Small works with patients to manage their conditions so that they can live comfortable and full lives. He has a number of treatment options for managing arthritis that can help you.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that connect your bones to one another. Although there are over 100 different kinds of arthritis, two of the most common are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system attacking the joint tissues and causing damage. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear-and-tear on the joints caused by overuse or injury. Both of these types of arthritis have similar symptoms.

Arthritis symptoms

Although there are many different kinds of arthritis, they share similar symptoms, including:

  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Tenderness/redness

The symptom severity depends on what type of arthritis you have and which joints it’s affecting.

Why staying active helps

If you’re experiencing joint pain and stiffness from arthritis, you might think your body is telling you that you should avoid moving around. However, research has shown that staying active with arthritis is important for a number of reasons.

Keeps joints in shape

Regular physical activity helps strengthen the muscles around your joints, decreasing joint stress. Moving your joints replenishes the fluid that lubricates the cartilage in your joints, reducing friction, swelling, and pain. This is especially important when you have arthritis.

Helps you cope with pain

Regular exercise is important to help keep your body and mind in good shape. Physical activity produces powerful chemicals called endorphins, which make you feel relaxed and happy. In addition, endorphins help your body and your mind cope better with pain.

Overall health and wellness

Exercise is also important in keeping a healthy weight, which is especially beneficial to people who have arthritis. Extra weight puts extra stress on your joints, so it helps to lose those extra pounds if you can. In addition, exercise helps boost your energy levels and also helps you sleep well, which can help you better cope with your condition.

There are a number of low-impact exercise options that can help keep your joints healthy without causing too much stress. Swimming, bicycling, and walking may be good exercise options for you, depending on your condition.

Dr. Henry N. Small helps you manage your arthritis, including supporting you in lifestyle changes that will help relieve your symptoms. A plan to stay active is an important part of arthritis treatment.

Call our office to set up an appointment today, and get the help you need to manage your arthritis.

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