Other types of arthritis (e.g. spondylitis, spondylosis, rheumatica, polymyalgia, fibromyalgia)

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Postby Guest Posts on Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:31 am

Does exercising a joint with arthritis make the condition less painful, more painful, or with no effect on the joint?
Thank you, Lynn
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Re: Exercising

Postby Matthew Rogers on Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:27 am

There is a common misconception that if you have arthritis, exercise is somehow bad for you. In reality, this could not be further from the truth. Research shows that becoming more physically active is extremely beneficial for those with arthritis. Strengthening the muscles in the front of the upper leg (the Quadriceps) has been proven to reduce the pain of knee arthritis in many people. Simple stretching exercises can help to improve the flexibility of the joints. Doing general exercises that helps to keep the heart and lungs healthy can reduce the progression of the condition in many cases and in some improve things considerable.

The charity Arthritis Action (https://www.arthritisaction.org.uk/livi ... exercises/) provides a number of free, very easy to follow exercise factsheets that you might want to try to start off with. For those who need a little more support, most GPs will have an agreement with a local health centre (the scheme is usually called ‘Exercises on referral’) that will offer you access to subsidised personal trainer sessions to build your confidence.

For people with knee pain specifically, there is an exercises programme called ‘ESCAPE-Pain’ (http://www.escape-pain.org/) that has 12 years’ worth of high quality research supporting it. This programme has been proven to reduce pain, improve your ability to perform daily activities and help with some of the psychological symptoms of arthritis such as low mood. It also includes self-management education sessions to enable you to understand your condition and take control. You can even download a free App from the App store to allow you to try it out at home. I highly recommend it.

If you feel that you need support from a medical professional, manual therapy such as osteopathy has also been proven to help in many cases, especially for knee arthritis. Find out more at https://www.iosteopathy.org/osteopathy-for-health/

When beginning a new exercises programme, you should always start off easy and gradually progress as your ability and confidence improves. You might find it a little difficult at first, but if you persist you will see the benefit of keeping active.
Matthew Rogers
Head of Professional Development, the Institute of Osteopathy

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Re: Exercising

Postby Tracy Corbett on Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:30 pm

In general, exercising has been shown to be associated with a reduction in pain rather than an increase. Having said that, it would be worth chatting to your GP and asking for a referral to physiotherapy. Your physiotherapist will assess you to determine specific strengths/weaknesses/biomechanical issues and can prescribe specific targeted exercises that will help you to manage your condition by strengthening the muscles around the affected joint(s). If appropriate, they may also use other modalities such as manual therapy, joint mobilisations, kinesiotaping, etc, and should be able to advise you on your condition, give you pacing and lifestyle modification advice.
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