By TONY WAGNER Citizen Columnist
Dear Mr. Fitness:
Can exercise help my arthritis? I feel much better when I exercise. I just assumed it was good for me to do, but I don't see too much about it in print. What do you think?
R.A., that's pretty good. You see folks, "R.A." stands for rheumatoid arthritis. Not bad. Can exercise help? You bet. Perhaps you don't see too much written about exercise as a help for arthritis because of all of the drugs out there used to treat arthritis. Plus, people usually like a quick fix and something easy.
Having to exercise to relieve anything is not the first route people generally choose. I think you should continue to exercise to help your arthritis. It's very good for your joints.
I would recommend that you try to exercise three to four times a week. Most types of exercise are good, so I won't drone on with specifics. But what I would do is make certain you do relatively high repetitions. Higher reps will help improve blood flow to the area with the arthritis. This will mitigate the inflammation in the joints. All very good stuff. Make sure you exercise with regularity as well. Do not miss workouts. Exercise will strengthen the joint areas. This is important in helping you relieve the pain.
Let's talk about just what the heck arthritis is. Arthritis is a joint disorder that includes inflammation of one or more joints. As you already know, it can be painful. Many types of arthritis are known. More than one hundred types! Wear and tear over time is known as osteoarthritis. Inflammation resulting from an overactive immune system is called rheumatoid arthritis. These are just a few of the well-known types.
How do you get arthritis? Injuries, metabolic abnormalities and, of course, the always popular hereditary factors. That's right, you could just be rolling along through life minding your own business and bang! You get arthritis!
Treatments include: Physical therapy, cold packs, paraffin wax dips and, my favorite, exercise. Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) are widely prescribed by doctors. Check with your doctor for more information on NSAIDS before taking them. Other anti-inflammatory drugs are used quite a bit with some success.
A newer form of treatment is vitamin D and sunlight exposure. It appears to help those with rheumatoid arthritis. I have heard of good results with chondroitin and anti-oxidants. Specifically vitamins D, A, C, E and selenium. If you choose to do any of these, check with your doctor.
Please try to exercise routinely even if you choose to try any of the treatments I have mentioned. It does seem to offer much in the way of relief to many people. I have seen this first hand as a personal trainer. I have managed the help many folks with the exercise approach. Give it a try and let me know if I can help with anything else!
-- Mr. Fitness
Tony Wagner, aka Mr. Fitness, has over thirty years of fitness and nutritional expertise. A certified personal trainer and fitness author, he has helped thousands of people get into and stay in shape. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook us, or stop by Bodyzone Fitness Center, 2740 N. Roosevelt Blvd., 305-292-2930.