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Exercise can help your joint pain and arthritis

Oct. 14, 2014 Ravalli Republic

Exercise is crucial for everyone’s health. Even if you have pain or arthritis, exercise has been shown to have significant benefits. It can increase your strength and flexibility, reduce joint pain, help combat fatigue, maintain bone strength, help control your weight, help you sleep better and make you feel better about yourself.

We all have our own barriers to doing exercise, whether not enough time, money, energy, or actually pain influencing your ability. When painful or stiff joints are already bothering you, the thought of walking around the block or swimming a few laps might seem contradictory. But you don’t need to hike to the top of Ward Mountain or swim across Lake Como to help reduce the symptoms of your arthritis. Light to moderate exercise can ease your pain and help you maintain your health. When joint pain slows you down, exercise keeps you moving!

Though you might think exercise will aggravate your joint pain and stiffness, that’s not the case. Lack of exercise actually can make your joints even more stiff and painful. Keeping your muscles and surrounding tissues strong is essential to maintaining support for your bones. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to individualize the best exercise plan that gives you the most benefit with the least aggravation of your joint pain.

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