There’s a 60% chance if you’re between the age of 18-64 you have some type of arthritis and, on top of that, 1 in 4 adults report joint pain severe enough to be limited in daily activities. So, with odds this high, the question is how can we address joint pain without increasing that pain, especially if you’re already an active adult? Easy – it starts with joint friendly activities.
Some examples of joint friendly activities include leisurely walks, swimming, water aerobics class, riding a bike and anything else that is low impact on our joints. You may be thinking, “well that’s great, but how long do I go for? How many days of the week? And what happens if I continue to have pain?” These are all great questions.
The first thing we want to think about before starting a new exercise or routine is how we’ll feel later that night and the next day. It’s best to start slow, limiting our time spent doing the joint-friendly activity and taking care to choose the best time of day for activity, when we will have the least amount of joint pain. When preparing for an activity, try to recognize safe areas to start in, such as flat surfaces, away from traffic, and pick places where there will be options to sit and rest if you do experience an increase in joint pain. It is always a good idea to consult your doctor before beginning a new routine.
And if starting out on your own sounds overwhelming, don’t worry – there are other options out there! You can access online yoga classes, participate in group classes at your local fitness center and, above all, Physical Therapy is an excellent choice! Physical therapy has been found to be one of the top treatments for arthritis by improving mobility to the joint, stability around the joint to move through recreational activities with less limitation and providing knowledge to the patient to improve quality of life long after their Physical Therapy sessions.
If you did not know already, July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month – an estimated 300,000 children in the U.S alone have some form of Juvenile Arthritis. If you or a loved one suffer from joint pain, swelling or stiffness, there are many online resources available (and our team of Physical Therapists is always here to help!)