Why it's So Important to Stay Active with Arthritis

Arthritis affects more than 50 million American adults, making it the leading cause of disability in the country. Characterized by joint pain and inflammation, arthritis can make daily tasks like walking or washing dishes very difficult. 

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis, but there are over 100 different types overall. Osteoarthritis develops with age, as the cushioning cartilage between the bones in your joints begins to wear away. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease and presents quite differently.

Common symptoms of osteoarthritis are joint pain, stiffness, and swelling that leads to decreased range of motion. Arthritis can severely limit your mobility and activity level, but staying active can actually prevent arthritis from getting worse. 

Chris Long, DC and the team at Empower Medical Center in Lee’s Summit, Missouri offer holistic care for patients with arthritis. Learn why staying active as you age is one of the best things you can do for arthritis and for your overall health.

Why arthritis causes pain

Over the years, wear and tear on joints can lead to the onset of osteoarthritis. In a healthy joint, a layer of slick cartilage pads the ends of the bones. The cartilage protects the bones, and your joint moves freely with very little friction.

When cartilage wears away, the bones can grind against each other when you move. It’s this friction that causes pain and inflammation. Arthritis can also trigger deterioration in connective tissue between the bones and muscles that hold the joint together. Over time, swelling and deterioration can limit range of motion and impact your quality of life. 

Managing arthritis pain with physical activity

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition, which means it gets worse over time. The cartilage between the bones in your joint continues to wear away, causing pain and inflammation. While it may seem like a good idea to not use your joints so you can prevent pain, this often makes arthritis worse. 

Exercise helps keep your joints and muscles strong, even if arthritis makes joints hurt. It helps you maintain your range of motion and keeps arthritis from limiting your ability to perform daily tasks. Regular activity also boosts your mood and improves overall feelings of wellbeing.

If you don’t use your joints or stay physically active, the joints affected by arthritis will get weak, and chronic pain develops. An inactive lifestyle also increases your risk of gaining extra weight, which puts more pressure and strain on joints. 

Coupled with regular physical activity, the following strategies can help you manage arthritis:

At Empower Medical Center, we are here to help you get the most out of life with arthritis. Treatments like cold laser therapy and trigger point injections can help reduce joint pain and make it easier to maintain an active lifestyle.

Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight as you age is also the best way to prevent osteoarthritis. Preserving your range of motion by staying active can delay arthritis or keep your symptoms from getting worse, making it easier to enjoy your life.

Let us help you find arthritis treatment that works for you. Call us today or request your first appointment online to get started.

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