Published on June 11, 2012

Staying active manages arthritis pain

Arthritis can turn everyday activities into painful challenges.

couple walkingIt’s enough to make some people give up and sit down. However, regular mild to moderate exercise, coupled with physical therapy if prescribed, can keep you active, reduce joint pain and restore flexibility.

“Exercise strengthens the muscles that support weight-bearing joints. This protects the joint so it can work more efficiently and with less pain,” says Lise Meloy, Mercy Home Health physical therapist. “If you’re considering joint replacement, stronger muscles may relieve the pain enough that you can postpone surgery. If you do have the surgery, recovery is frequently faster when you’re in better condition.”

Recommended exercises include:

Aqua therapy - Water supports the joints, yet provides plenty of resistance to build muscle strength.

Walking - Gradually work up to a goal pace and distance.

Yoga - Slow, steady movements help reduce the tenderness and swelling associated with arthritis.

Before leaping into any activity, Meloy says step one is a medical evaluation. “If you’ve been inactive for a while, you may be referred for formal physical therapy—to learn how to exercise safely and effectively before you take off on your own.”

Smart Move

To learn more about our in-home rehabilitation therapy services and other programs related to joint and muscle health, call 888.690.2551 or visit