Osteoarthritis: The Ups and Downs of Exercising
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The picturesque city of Palm Desert, CA is a great place to live, and many areas are best seen on foot or by bike. Hiking and biking can take you through hidden areas and to breathtaking lookout points you just can’t see from a car. Try the Hopalong Cassidy Trail, the Randall Henderson Trail, the Bump and Grind Trail, or the more vigorous Art Smith Trail. Now, if you are thinking about exercising with osteoarthritis, you may question whether you can or should try doing this type of activity at all.
Osteoarthritis is considered the “wear and tear” form of the condition. It involves the breakdown of the cartilage between joints over time. This then causes bones to rub against each other and can leave a person with stiffness, pain, and loss of joint movement. Staying physically active is actually a big factor in maintaining your health with this condition and preventing it from getting worse. First, it helps with weight loss, which means your joints have to endure fewer pounds of pressure. Second, it strengthens joints and helps to prevent stiffness; and third, strong muscles protect your joints. If even performing daily activities is too difficult, we would suggest a treatment plan of medications and physical therapy—or possibly surgery—so you can get back to living an active lifestyle.
Keep in mind that exercising with osteoarthritis should be balanced with the right joint care. Heat and cold therapy can relieve any pain you feel after activity, and cut back if you have redness, swelling or consistent pain. Avoid activities that put a lot of stress on your joints. Try water aerobics, yoga, Pilates, biking, strength training, and range-of-motion exercises.
If you need further assistance or treatment for joint pain in your feet or ankles, please contact Harvey R. Danciger, DPM. Our podiatric office in Palm Desert, CA has the treatment you need to live an active, pain-free lifestyle. Call us at (760) 568-0108 to make an appointment today.
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