Arthritis: The Important of Exercise
You may feel like exercise is the last thing on your mind when it comes to helping arthritis. However, exercise is incredibly beneficial for those with chronic joint pain. Exercise has been found to successfully improve symptoms of arthritis and reduce suffering for the long term.
In this article we’ll show you the importance of exercise, the kinds of exercise that are most beneficial, and how we can help you at the White House Clinic.
Living with Arthritis
‘Arthritis affects more than 10 million people in the UK.’
The two most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Osteoarthritis affects the smooth cartilage of the joint, making movement more difficult than usual and causing pain and stiffness. Because the cartilage lining starts to roughen and thin, tendons and ligaments must work harder. This causes bony spurs called ‘osteophytes.’
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition. It happens when the body’s immune system is essentially ‘attacking’ itself, and targets affected joints which causes swelling and pain.
The most common symptoms of both these types of arthritis are:
- joint pain, tenderness, and stiffness
- inflammation in and around the joints
- restricted movement of the joints
- warm red skin over the affected joint
- weakness and muscle wasting
Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis. However, there are ways to slow it down and relieve or manage the pain. Treatments include lifestyle changes, medication, surgery, physiotherapy—and as described above, exercise.
When it comes to Osteoarthritis, we commonly see symptoms in those with poor diet and lack of exercise, so it is important to focus on lifestyle changes instead of always resorting to medical treatments and surgery.
“A key study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism of overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis (OA) found that losing one pound of weight resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees.”
Exercising with Arthritis
We are all aware of how important daily exercise is for improving our health, and it is even more vital for those suffering with arthritis. Exercise helps to build muscle which in turn takes the pressure from the affected joints. Plus, helping people to maintain a healthy weight is essential for those managing osteoarthritis.
‘According to the new NICE guidelines, physical activity should be the main treatment - not painkillers.’ 
The best exercises are low impact. No jumping or running—think walking, cycling, and swimming instead. Strength training is crucial when it comes to supporting those with arthritis. Strength and resistance exercises help to build more muscle around the joint which will protect and support the affected area. Flexibility and mobility exercises are also brilliant for gentle stretching and helping improve balance.
It is important to always make sure to speak with a physio or personal trainer before you start exercising with your arthritis.
How we can help at The White House Clinic
At our clinic, our specialist physios will guide and give you exercises to benefit your arthritis. Our therapists use several approaches in our physiotherapy treatment. These include soft tissue techniques, spinal and peripheral joint mobilisation, manipulation, acupuncture, posture advice, exercise prescription and taping.
We are also pleased to be approved for fitting the Unloaded One Knee Brace. The Unloader One X and CTi by Ossur are clinically proven to reduce pain and improve function. The braces work by shifting the pain away from the affected side of the knee to the less affected side, reducing bone on bone contact.
‘Patients have also reported a reduction in the use of prescription anti-inflammatories after using Unloader One X and CTi.’ 
Get in touch!
At the White House Clinic, our aim is to help those suffering with injuries and conditions, including arthritis. We believe that everyone deserves to enjoy living a long, active, and healthy life and to return from injury rapidly.
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