I’ll bet you’re either living with someone with arthritis, or someone near and dear to you has arthritis.
And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 54 million Americans are diagnosed with arthritis. By 2040, many studies have stated the number will grow to over 78 million people living with arthritis in the United States.
While currently there might be no known cure for arthritis, it doesn’t mean that people with arthritis must live with the pain. Especially since, as Dr. Stephen Gould, MD, sports medicine specialist and Director of Sports Medicine and OrthopaedicSurgeon at Hoover Health Center, points out, exercise can help many people who suffer from arthritis find relief from symptoms.
Don’t Let Arthritis Stand in Your Way
There are two main types of arthritis – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
While most people living with arthritis have osteoarthritis, which is the normal wear and tear of joints as we age, there are cases of rheumatoid arthritis that are usually the result of a certain conditions.
“Most of the time we are talking about arthritis, we are discussing osteoarthritis,” states Dr. Gould. “The biggest areas we see affected are in the knee and hip, so we definitely try to tailor exercises around the joints to ensure patients are not putting too much pressure where the arthritis pain affects them the most.”
Arthritis can strike a person of any gender and age. Patients who are younger are most commonly young, active women who are suffering from early thinning of the cartilage and cushion in the knee cap, as well as weekend warriors.
Exercising, including conditioning programs, can be extremely helpful for patients diagnosed with arthritis. At Hoover Health Center, Dr. Gould and the professional team follow the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons conditioning program when it comes to knee, hip, shoulder, foot, and ankle.
Get Moving for Arthritis Relief
“We rely mostly on our core muscles like abdominal and lower back muscles,” Dr. Gould explains. “Since most of the joint pain patients experience due to arthritis can be improved from strengthening the core muscles, our team bases most of our activities with patients in the core area.”
According to Dr. Gould, now couldn’t be a more perfect time to take advantage of the pool when trying to find exercises that provide relief for arthritis pain.
“Pool-based exercises provide a great environment for working out, as swimming and water aerobics allow for a good workout with less stress placed on the joints,” Dr. Gould says. “While street running is hard on joints and worse for patients with arthritis in the knee, pool exercises can provide a big positive in offering a low-impact workout to help improve arthritis pain.”
Other lower impact activities suggested include:
- Stationary bikes
- Elliptical machines
- Suspension training
While it is important to “push” yourself in any workout routine, it is also vital for patients to listen to their body before, during, and after their workout.
“Usually a good rule of thumb is any soreness that you are feeling after a workout that isn’t debilitating can be managed with rest and ice,” explains Dr. Gould. “However, if your pain happens during an activity, or causes you to stop participating in exercising due to pain level, then it is usually a red flag that you are dealing with something that needs more attention.”
Anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen, Aleve, and Advil can also help with relief from pain in general. However, these over-the-counter medications should only be taken with the approval of a physician.
Help Is Here
At Hoover Health Center, you will have the attention and treatment of board-certified orthopaedic surgeons who are able to help establish diagnosis and treatment plans to help get people back to living a normal life.
“Our connection with the free-standing emergency room at UAB Medical West allows patients to be able to seek medical treatment around the clock at their convenience when suffering from pain,” says Dr. Gould. “They can have a quality experience without a long wait when needing immediate assistance and, then, can get the follow-up and treatment plan they need to return to their normal routine.”
Are you tired of suffering from arthritis and ready to find relief? Contact Dr. Gould and the team at Hoover Health Center
to make an appointment for a consultation.