COMPONENTS OF ARTHRITIS TREATMENT Individuals with arthritis can benefit from comprehensive treatment plans which include proper diet, medication, and appropriate exercise. The first step is understanding your particular condition by discussing it with your doctor or physical therapist. Your treatment plan should take into consideration which joints are involved, the amount of inflammation, how stable the joints are and your typical activity level. HOW TO GET STARTED • • Start strengthening exercises slowly and with small weights. Strong muscles serve to support and protect arthritic joints. • Add aerobic exercise in gradually. Aerobic exercise contributes to overall fitness, function and well-being and can help control weight which might be placing extra stress on joints. • Ease off if joints become painful, inflamed or red but do not stop exercising completely. Talk with your doctor or therapist about pain relief during joint flare ups and how you should modify exercise during these times. • Find a recreational activity that you enjoy doing and make it a habit. Begin with a supervised program from your doctor or physical therapist. This should be developed based on your unique needs and not a one-size-fits-all routine. Initially it may include therapeutic techniques such as mobilizations or modalities as well as educating you about your particular issues. • Stretch and warm up with range of motion exercises which can relieve stiffness and increase flexibility.
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