Why Exercise Can Be Especially Hard for Arthritis Patients

Many research studies have determined that exercise can be very beneficial for almost all arthritis patients. Exercise helps retain flexibility, keep muscles and bones strong and healthy, and can dramatically improve one’s mood and overall sense of health and well being. So why don’t all arthritis patients get their fill of exercise and movement? Well, it turns out that exercise can be especially difficult for arthritis patients. Aside from the obvious obstacles of stiff joints and tense muscles, arthritis patients face their own special set of challenges when it comes to getting the right amount of exercise.

One of the greatest challenges that many arthritis patients face is a lack of proper exercise programs. Recent surveys indicate that many arthritis patients feel there is a lack of exercise programs that specifically address the special challenges faced by their condition. Physicians, these patients say, do not address their specific challenges when prescribing a physical exercise regime. The most common challenge faced by arthritis patients when faced with a new exercise program is pain. Almost all patients report that pain keeps them from trying new exercise programs or staying committed to a specific exercise regime. Another nearly universal complaint is mobility impairment. Many exercise programs prescribed for arthritis patients do not adequately address the issue of mobility impairment. Many patients report not being able to complete certain exercises because of their mobility impairment.

Another challenge faced by arthritis patients includes a fear of pain during or after exercise. The psychological distress caused by exercise is a very real fear and challenge that all arthritis patients face to some degree. Another fear that some arthritis patients face is the challenge of new exercises that they have never tried before. Water exercise is a very popular form of exercise that is often recommended for arthritis patients. However, many doctors and physical therapists overlook the fear these exercises cause for some patients. Recent surveys indicate that many arthritis patients do not have experience in the water. This causes them to fear participation in water exercise regimes.

Most arthritis patients, the recent survey suggests, do not receive adequate counsel and advice from their health professionals. Arthritis patients appear to face a special challenge when it comes to getting the proper advice about their exercise routine. Many study participants complained that their doctor did not address the issue of exercise and physical activity adequately. This study indicates that there must be a change in the way doctors and physical therapists address their patient’s concerns regarding physical exercise. Moreover, the study suggests, doctors should do a better job at tailoring exercise routines specifically for their arthritis patients. Instead of prescribing the same exercises to all their patients, it is advisable that doctors make an effort to address each patient’s specific physical challenges. Recent studies also propose that in order to create exercise routines for arthritis patients that are challenging yet effective is to have patient and doctor work together to arrive at an acceptable routine.

This survey also suggests that arthritis patients are more likely to stay with an exercise program is to create a stimulating and healthy peer support network of arthritis patients.