Managing Arthritis Through Exercise

World Arthritis Day – The importance of exercise to manage Arthritis.

 

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is the terminology used to describe inflammation of the joints. There are approximately 915,000 people living with arthritis in Ireland. While there are 100 types of arthritis, the most common are Osteoarthritis which is caused by the sea and tear of cartilage that protects the joints and rheumatoid arthritis which is a long term autoimmune disorder which causes painful and swollen joints.

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in Ireland, accounting for one in three GP visits and costs the exchequer €700million per year in lost earnings and forced retirement, according to Arthritis Ireland. While there is no known cure for arthritis, there are multiple ways to help deal with the effects.

Regular physical activity can have a a tremendous effects on people living with arthritis, specifically when it comes to reducing pain and helping to maintain mobility. It is probably the best thing that you can take charge of to help with the condition. The current World Health Organisation recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week for people aged 65+, however it can be difficult for people living with arthritis to meet this guideline due to complications with the condition.

When it comes to arthritis, even a little exercise can be beneficial. A resent study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago tested the effects of exercise for people with Osteoarthritis affecting one knee. Results showed that people who engaged in longer sessions of physical activity were more likely to have greater physical abilities, however, people who reached just 45 minutes as opposed to the 150 minute per week guideline, are 80 per centre more likely to maintain or improve their physical abilities than those who only exercised from under 45 minutes.

But what type of exercise can do you with arthritis? While exercise is really one of the best medicines for arthritis many people are afraid to do any type of physical activity for fear of exacerbating the condition. We recommend speaking to your doctor to get advice on the best type of exercise for you. At Siel Bleu we also offer physical activity classes for people with arthritis, led by our professional physical trainers. If you would like to join our class in Killiney or to set up a class for you Arthritis support group call 01 209 6889.