Best exercises for osteoarthritis of the spine

Care Partner_RF123_25769226_RF_cmykAs we age, the definition of the word “arthritis” becomes more real. We find that our joints tend to bend less easily as we get older. Arthritis can take on many forms, including that of osteoarthritis. In spite of your osteoarthritis, the best thing for you to do is to stay active.

Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the knees, hips and hands. It can also be found in the spine as the source of back pain. Osteoarthritis specifically affects the joints, and is determined by the breakdown of cartilage. But, here’s the interesting thing about osteoarthritis — not everyone gets it.

This type of arthritis is actually considered to be a disease and not a normal part of aging. Osteoarthritis is most commonly found in men 45 years and older and women 55 years and older. It can be caused by obesity, overuse or injury, genetics or, in some cases, aging.

Check out these simple exercises to help keep you moving and your joints limber:

Improve your range of motion. Incorporating exercises that will increase your range of motion will help to keep your joints flexible and ward off pain. These exercises are typically simple in motion and can be done anywhere including in your office chair or car. Such exercises may include gently rotating certain body parts from one side to another to slowly improve your range of motion.

Build your strength. Strong muscles will help keep your osteoarthritis symptoms at bay as well as improve your joints. Add strength-training exercises into your routine to help keep your back strong, offering more support to your arthritic joints. You may consider using exercises bands to increase resistance and slowly build strength.

Choose low-impact exercises. A big contributor to osteoarthritis is obesity. One of the best ways you can control your weight and your osteoarthritis is to incorporate low-impact exercises into your daily routine. It can be difficult to pencil in 30 minutes to an hour to hit the gym, but low-impact exercises can be done almost anywhere for almost any length of time. If you feel your joints stiffening, try taking a 10-minute walk around the office or your home. You’ll feel limber again in no time.

Although osteoarthritis is incurable, it doesn’t mean have to stop doing the things you love. Stay as active as your body will allow you to help ward off chronic neck or back pain.

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