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What is Arthritis and How to Treat it?

Arthritis occurs when the cartilage on the bones becomes worn and develops lesions (or holes) much like Swiss cheese. This degeneration prevents the fluid in the joint from moving freely around the joint, causing stiffness. If we have an arthritic joint it is best to keep moving it through gentle exercise and range of motion to help circulate the fluid. This will help prevent stiffness and pain from becoming severe. It will also help preserve the joint and slow down progression of arthritis. here are some tools to treat the pain

Range of Motion Exercises: One of the most helpful exercises for arthritis can be working on the range of motion. For example in shoulder arthritis, using a pulley to work on shoulder flexion and other motions can help reduce pain and stiffness. This is also true of knee arthritis. For example performing a simple heel slide can also help motion the joint and prevent pain.

Weight Bearing Exercises: Additionally in the lower body doing gentle weight bearing exercises can also be beneficial in maintaining strength and range of motion. For example, a gentle forward lunge can help maintain hip extension while working the thighs and gluts. However attention must be paid to not overloading the joint. So rest breaks should occur and body weight or minimal weight should be used.

Aquatic Exercises: Aquatic exercise can be another helpful tool in dealing with arthritis. This exercise allows the body to move while being decompressed, making it easier to move. This can help the entire body and any joint that has arthritis.

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