Exercise and Rheumatic Diseases

Exercise and Rheumatic Diseases
Posted on 12/06/2015

Living with a rheumatic disease does not necessarily mean living a limited lifestyle. With proper management, a rheumatic disease often does not have to hinder your daily activities.

Exercise and rheumatic diseases

Exercise, when done correctly, can help reduce rheumatic disease symptoms, including the following:

-Preventing joint stiffness

-Keeping muscles strong around the joints

-Improving joint flexibility

-Reducing swelling

-Reducing pain

-Maintaining strong and healthy bone and cartilage tissue

-Improving joint alignment

-Improving overall fitness

Exercise is often times an integral part of a person's overall treatment plan for arthritis or other rheumatic diseases. In addition, exercise may help with weight reduction and increase your sense of well-being. There are three main types of exercises that may be beneficial for persons with rheumatic diseases, including the following:

Range-of-motion exercises. Range-of-motion exercises focus on moving the joints in certain directions to improve flexibility and reduce stiffness.

Strengthening exercises. Strengthening exercises help increase or maintain muscle strength around the joints, keeping joints more stable. Two common strengthening exercises include isometric (tightening muscles without using joints) and isotonic (strengthening muscles by using the joints) exercises.

Fitness exercises. Fitness exercises improve a person's endurance and cardiovascular health, while keeping muscles strong and joints more flexible. Types of fitness exercises appropriate for most persons with rheumatic diseases include walking, water exercise, and bicycling.

Always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.