- Megan Vogias, MA Ed
Physical activity is possible for those with arthritis
Updated: Jan 8
The CDC recommends various joint-friendly activities for those suffering from chronic pain associated with arthritis. In fact, the CDC along with other health professionals and exercise specialists has helped us identify and create a routine that works for you and helps reduce your pain by considering how to be S.M.A.R.T. with your activities.
Start low, go slow.
Gradual movement is better than no movement, and slow and steady motion will help you develop more resilience and even endurance. Everyone's body needs time to adjust to new routines, so please do not push yourself if your body is not ready.
Modify activities when arthritis symptoms increase.
Staying active doesn't mean only selecting one method or approach to moving, it simply means just staying active and modifications are often better for you and can change over time as your endurance builds. We recommend working with your medical team or a professional fitness and exercise expert to help determine what modifications are best for you during which stage of your return to activity.
Activities should be joint friendly
Remember it's your joints that are often inflamed, so it's essential to allow yourself to
focus and accept that your exercise routine may not be what it was before you had these symptoms, and that's okay, we're just glad you're moving. After all, accepting your condition and what areas specifically need to be targeted is critical to your success, confidence, and consistency.
Recognizing safe places to be active is the first step
Have you ever said, "Well if I fall no one will be there to help me up!" or "What if I pull something, I can't do that without knowing if I'll be able to move again!" Finding a safe space and place to exercise where you feel comfortable and protected is critical to not only building your confidence but also to reducing your risk of accidents or calming the angst that comes with potential anxiety.
Talk to a health professional or certified exercise specialist.
There are professionals who study how to help others increase mobility, build endurance, and techniques to reduce everyday pain. So, please reach out and ask your medical team for a referral or a recommendation. After all, working with a professional can help you begin and end where you want to, lower your risk of injury, and improve your understanding of movement and your health along the way.
Physical Activity for Arthritis. Published 2022. Accessed December 21, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/physical-activity-overview.html