Benefits of Physical Activity in Those Affected by Chronic Pain and Arthritis

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. Often chronic pain can be sited as the reason many people fail to exercise routinely. Lack of exercise can make joints stiff and painful and decreases the strength of the muscle and tissues surrounding joints.

Studies demonstrate improvement in chronic pain and arthritis, depression, anxiety, sleep, fatigue, balance, mood and quality of life with routine, low to moderate impact exercise. Activity can help replenish lubrication of the cartilage in joints and decrease joint pain and stiffness. Regular exercise can promote healthy weight and long-term weight management, which can decrease the stress on joints. In addition, exercise can help manage or prevent other diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hypertension and cardiac disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Start low and go slow. In other words, you do not have to climb a mountain or run a marathon to enjoy the benefits of exercise. Any activity is better than none. Start by taking a walk a couple times a week after dinner. Or try swimming a few laps. Biking can also be beneficial without putting too much stress on your body. It can take up to 6 – 8 weeks for your body to adjust, so if you are sore after exercise, decrease the length of time or frequency of the exercise. Also make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

If you have any questions or concerns about starting an exercise program, ask one of the providers here at NovaSpine Pain Institute to help you make a plan to get started and keep you on track of your exercise goals. So now that you know the benefits of exercise, get moving and get feeling better!

 

Victoria Tweedy, NP-C

Author
Victoria Tweedy, FNP, NP-C Victoria Tweedy is a Family Nurse Practitioner that has worked in pain management since 2010. She brings over 29 years’ experience in the medical profession to the NovaSpine Pain Institute team. She has worked in many areas of medicine including cardiac telemetry, critical care and hospice care in both inpatient and home settings. It was in these settings she learned the importance of the gift of compassionate care and pain relief. In addition to medication management, Victoria is experienced in other forms of pain relief, including joint injections and trigger point injections. When not in the office she spends time with her family; son, daughter, and husband of 27 years. In addition, she enjoys exercising and hiking, volunteering, reading and of course, shopping.

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