For many adults, arthritis is just a part of the aging process; but for those who have experienced some type of joint or bone trauma at a relatively young age, osteoarthritis can set in during their twenties, thirties, or forties, causing pain and stiffness that can leave you feeling far older than your biological age. While there's no specific cure for osteoarthritis, there are some steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and minimize the impact this condition has on your daily life. Read on to learn more about a couple of exercises that may help relieve some of your osteoarthritis symptoms, as well as situations in which a more intensive regimen of physical therapy may be warranted.
What Exercises Can You Do at Home to Combat Osteoarthritis?
Resistance exercises can often improve your bone strength and reduce the spread of osteoarthritis in the process. Depending upon which joints and bones are affected, you may opt to concentrate on your upper body, lower body, or even your core to avoid putting too much pressure on your most painful joints. For example, if you have osteoarthritis of the knees, you may use a resistance band to encircle your legs as you do leg lifts, strengthening the muscles and tendons that hold your knee and hip joints firmly in place. Strengthening these muscles can let them take on more of your body's weight when you move, reducing the strain on your joints.
Yoga and Pilates are two types of exercise that can also benefit individuals struggling with osteoarthritis. These regimens' focus on strength training, balance, and deep breathing can provide you with a low-impact exercise that still builds strength and burns calories.
When Can Physical Therapy Help You Manage Osteoarthritis?
In some cases, adding physical therapy to your at-home exercise regimen can go much farther to reduce your osteoarthritis symptoms. By working with a physical therapist, you can learn more about the specific impact your arthritis is having on your body, giving you the knowledge you need to make future medical decisions, You'll also learn some ways you can modify your daily activities, from the way you pick up your child to the way you get into and out of your car, so that you can perform these activities in the way least likely to cause any damage to your joints. Finally, physical therapy can ensure you spend some time focusing on your health and fitness every day, an important task often overlooked with today's busy schedules.