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Exercising Through the Pain

I have been training a client for many years who suffers everyday with pain from arthritis.  It has taken time for her to get to know her body, understand her limits, and manage her pain while trying to remain healthy and active.  Through our research and together with her rheumatologist, we have found ways for her to work through the exercise pain without agitating her arthritis.

Lay off painful joints. We start each workout with a short evaluation of her pain.  For example, if her knees are giving her problems then we skip lower body workouts and focus on other areas that day.  It is important to rest painful areas so that you don’t further damage those painful joints.  I also recommend swimming as an alternative to cardio machines to help ease the stress on painful joints.

Even moderate pain means STOP. Any pain while you exercise could mean you are causing damage to arthritic joints or inflammation.  I cannot stress enough that you stop your workout if you experience pain.  This is a sign to see your doctor.

Joint pain vs. muscle pain.  There is a big difference between joint pain and muscle soreness.  During my daily body pain evaluation with my clients, I take the time to discuss soreness.  I find it is important to take note of certain areas that consistently feel sore and modify workouts and the length of your workout accordingly.  Again, swimming, water aerobics, and cycling seem to be great alternatives to those suffering from joint pain.

Arthritis is a pain to live with but it doesn’t have to keep you from doing the physical activities you love.  If you listen to your body and modify your workouts according to your pain, and work with your doctor to manage your symptoms, then you can stay active.

For a free consultation please contact Brenda Bark at Focus on Fitness at 480-238-6630.