Exercises for arthritis: How to strengthen your joints

Arthritis is a common problem for a lot of people in the UK. Although the condition isn’t targeted only to people of an elderly age, it’s much more prevalent in the older age group. Due to the pain arthritis can cause, everyday tasks can become much harder for those affected, and this is when home care may be considered to increase the quality of life. Let’s find out a bit more about arthritis and how you can help alleviate the symptoms.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. There are three types of arthritis: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis. The difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is the cause for the symptoms – rheumatoid is an autoimmune disease, whereas osteoarthritis is due to wear and tear on the joints. The symptoms of arthritis can include:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Warmth

In severe cases, these symptoms can limit the movement someone is capable of, which in turn affects their ability to carry out daily tasks.

What can you do for arthritis?

The symptoms of arthritis can sometimes be eased with the use of medication. There is also the option of surgery in severe cases. Joint surgery often leads to the relief of pain, but is a big undertaking and recovery. It can be a good idea to practice some gentle exercises that can alleviate the symptoms of arthritis over time, and keep your joints mobile and less stiff.

What are some exercises you can do for arthritis?

You might be wondering what some of the recommended exercises are for strengthening the joints while having arthritis. If you have neck pain, you could try the following:

  • Exercise 1 – Tilt your head from side to side, bringing your ear down to your shoulder and back up. It could be a good idea to sit down during this exercise so you don’t lose your balance. Repeat this exercise slowly five times.
  • Exercise 2 – Slowly turn your head to look from side to side. Keep your chin at the same height the whole time and gently engage your neck muscles. If this is uncomfortable, you could try it lying down when your head supported.
  • Exercise 3 – Maintaining good posture, tilt your head down to meet your chin to your chest. Engage your neck muscles, and bring it back up. Repeat this slowly.

You could try these exercises to strengthen your fingers and hands:

  • Exercise 1 – To strengthen your fingers, place your hand on a table on top of a piece of paper or tissue, with your fingers spread. Practice closing your fingers and opening them again, scrunching the tissue beneath.
  • Exercise 2 – Stretch the muscles and joints of your thumbs by holding your hand out in front of you, with your thumb splayed. Bring your thumb across your palm, and then move it back to the starting position and repeat five times.
  • Exercise 3 – Your wrists may also be affected by arthritis, and so to promote their mobility, make sure your elbow is at a 90° angle and face your palm up. Then rotate your palm so that it faces down, and then again to face up. Repeat a number of times.

Exercise like low-impact aerobic activity and strength training is also recommended for those with arthritis. Pain can be helped with heat, ice, and massage therapies, so this could be an avenue to look into.

The symptoms of your arthritis can be difficult to live with, especially if they start to affect your day-to-day range of motion, and your ability to carry out tasks. This is where the option of home care can come in. Your care worker can help you with the laundry, cooking, spend time with you getting you ready for the day, and even taking you to appointments. If you’re interested in excellent home care that prioritises your happiness and independence, get in touch with our team at Verilife on hello@verilife.co.uk or call 020 3141 9290.

If you are interested in ways to prevent or reduce the risk of developing dementia later in life, you can get in touch with our care workers for more tailored advice. Our care team is also proficient in optimising your home to cater to a dementia diagnosis, ensuring your safety. To get in touch with our Verilife team, email us on hello@verilife.co.uk or call 020 3141 9290.

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