Answered by our head therapist Senthil Kumara Raja (BPT, M.Sc (FERN), M.Sc ( NYT), RMT, PT) with more than two decades of experience in Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy and Yoga Therapy. The current faculty member at Mount Royal University. Ask Senthil any of your fitness questions through our Contact Us form.
Q: I have Arthritis. When can I start my exercises?
A: In acute flare-up of joint inflammation, it is better not to do any vigorous
exercises, as they will only aggravate your symptoms. Make sure you consult your
physician or physiotherapist for advice on which treatments will work best for
you. If you are already under treatment, ask your practitioner for more
information, specific to your needs.
Q: When I was diagnosed with arthritis, my doctor advised me not to walk much, but my neighbour who has knee pain, was told to walk regularly. What is the difference in opinion?
A: In the early stages of arthritis there is increased inflammation resulting in pain
and swelling in the joint. In this stage, joints need maximum time for rest to repair.
later, once the signs and symptoms of inflammation reduce, you can start doing
preparatory exercises, followed by a walking program.
Q: Arthritis is a wear and tear problem of the joint. Won’t these exercises increase wear and tear and make the problem worse?
A: This is a misconception. By doing carefully designed special exercises, one can
strengthen the muscles around the joints. Whatever stress, strain and pressure
the joints are subjected to would be taken over by these strong muscles. Joints
are relieved of pressure and protected from further wear and tear, but you have
to do those selective exercises to loosen the tight muscles and strengthen
appropriate muscles. Only then would exercise prove fruitful.