Rheumatoid & osteo arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis can be defined as an autoimmune disease in which the bodiy’s immune system attacks its opwn cartilage and joint lining cuasinginflammation, swelling, pain and loss of function. When the cartilage has been destroyed, fibrous tissue then ossifies and starts to join the bones, creating an immoveable joint.

Exercise recommendations will vary according to physical condition, medical history, pain threshold and fitness level. Muscle weakness is experienced by 80% of arthritis patients. Isometric and isotonic exercises are useful in the improvement of joint funtion. Isometric exercises that are held for max of 6 secs are good for painful joints, causing the least rise I npressure inside the joint, the least inflammation and the least effect on the bone ends.

  • Low impact activities – walking, cycling, swimming
  • Ensure adequate warm up prior to exercise session
  • Look to develop range of motion
  • Avoid over stretching and hypermobility
  • Select the correct footwear to reduce weight-bearing forces
  • Target overload through intensity and duration
  • Look to improve aerobic ability
  • Frequency 5-7 times per week, duration 20-60 mins
  • For strength training, aim for repetitions in 10-15 range
  • Target exercises that will improve function abilities and muscular strength 1-3 sets per exercise
  • Listen to your body – learn to know the extent of your regular level of joint pain and how exercise affects your joints.
  • Find time of day when medication and arthritis symptoms are at their best.