Someone with a wear and tear disease in the joints may attempt to reduce the physical activity thinking movement may make their condition worse. However, movement is therapeutic to arthritic joints. Physical activity that ranges from walking to exercise, including strength training can relieve symptoms of arthritis, but make sure to work with a physiatrist or physical therapist who can teach you how to safely and effectively do strength training, as it involves the use of tools such as dumbbells and resistance bands.
Benefits of Strength Training
Strength training can benefit just about anyone, especially people with arthritis. It is defined as using your own weight or other tools to build stronger muscles and improve endurance. Over time, strength training can make bones stronger, muscles leaner, and decrease body fat. As you know, excessive weight is harmful to your joints and contributes to inflammation.
The exercise itself encourages the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. Moreover, it also relieves inflammation, eases stiffness, and improves range of motion. Done the right way, strength training can improve the quality of life of someone with arthritis.
Actual Strength Training
Start with light dumbbells that weigh two to three pounds for women and five to eight pounds for men. It should be light enough that you are able to do 12 repetitions. If not, then the dumbbells are too heavy. You should feel a bit tired after 12 reps but you should be able to do them. Adjustable weights are recommended for patients with hand arthritis. It can be very tricky to determine what is safe if you are starting out. Make sure to start this program under the supervision of a physiatrist.
How Often Should You Train?
Just as little as three 30-minute strength-training sessions per week are enough to see the benefits of the exercise. Avoid exercising the same group of muscles two days in a row and be sure to rest between workouts. Do not strength-train if you are feeling pain from arthritis and always warm-up beforehand. Should you experience pain or swelling, take a rest day or two until the symptoms have subsided. Better yet, call your doctor for advice. Do not continue with the exercise if it’s causing you pain.
Patients usually see results in their energy levels, strength, endurance, and arthritis symptoms after just a month of strength training. After a period of six months, people who strength train see a 40 percent increase in their strength.
A physiatrist or physical therapist can craft exercises that are safe and beneficial for you.
Arthritis Strength Training in Clinton Township
Movement Orthopedics has a superior physical therapy program that can help ease your arthritis symptoms and improve joint function. Our physical therapists are licensed professionals with special training in therapeutic exercises and manual therapy treatments. If you are interested in starting a strength training program, consult with a licensed physical therapist for your safety. Call our clinic at (586) 488-2440 or request an appointment online now.