Check Your Health: How Movement Can Help with Arthritis

Check Your Health - Exercise Helps with Arthritis

(KUTV) For anyone who suffers from arthritis, you know that moving through simple, daily tasks can be painful. However, movement and exercise might be just the thing to help manage the pain.

“Essentially arthritis is joint inflammation,” says Jillesa Anderson, Exercise Physiologist at Intermountain Utah Valley Hospital LiVe Well Center.

As arthritis worsens, it causes a lot of pain and stiffness of the joints.

“There are a lot of things I just can’t do anymore. It presents a lot of challenges because I have bad shoulders and so I’m very limited in what I can do in my movements,” says Gay Beckstead, patient who suffers from arthritis.

One of the best treatments for someone who suffers from arthritis is low-impact exercise.

“It prevents stiffness and weakness and can help you maintain a healthy body weight,” says Anderson.

Exercise does two things:

  1. It strengthens the muscles surrounding the joint
  2. It helps patients lose weight, decreasing the pressure placed on joints

“For every one pound of bodyweight loss, that takes four pounds of pressure off of those knee joints,” says Anderson.

If you aren’t sure where to start or what exercises to do, Utah Valley Hospital’s brand new LiVe Well Center has a program designed specifically for arthritis.

“It’s a program that takes place in the gym setting and focuses on aerobic fitness, flexibility, and strength training,” says Anderson.

This program has been shown to decrease pain and improve patients’ quality of life.

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