The Importance of Physical Activity
Physical activity can be very beneficial for easing the symptoms of arthritis of the spine. For instance, regular exercise can help relieve pain, enhance flexibility, increase strength, boost energy, and reduce fatigue. Range-of-motion, strengthening, and aerobic activities can be particularly good. Since back pain can make it difficult to move, the idea of walking around the block or swimming even just a few laps may seem overwhelming when you are dealing with the effects of spinal arthritis on a daily basis.
While many people believe that exercise will aggravate their arthritis pain, the opposite is actually true. In fact, a lack of movement can cause the muscles that support the spine to weaken, creating additional stress on damaged spinal joints and causing further pain and stiffness. The key is finding an appropriate fitness regimen and sticking with it.
At BEST Health system, we believe in a conservative approach to healthcare. We encourage our patients to explore options like physical therapy, mild exercise, massage, and injections before considering surgery. Are you looking for a orthopaedic or spine surgeon nearby? Look no further than the BEST. Our Cincinnati spine doctors offer a wide variety of pain management and surgery treatments to help patients feel like the best version of themselves.
Exercising Safely with Spinal Arthritis
Before you begin a new workout program, it’s important to talk with a physician who can help you select appropriate activities based on a number of individual factors, including the specific type of arthritis of the spine that you have and the location of the joints that are affected. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Take your time. Move gently at first to allow your joints sufficient time to warm up before performing aerobic or strengthening exercises.
- Keep the impact low. Low-impact exercises such as walking, cycling, swimming, and pool therapy can be effective while minimizing the strain on your spinal joints.
- Apply heat or ice as needed. Heat-based treatments, such as a heating pad, warm towel, or hot shower, can help relieve pain and relax taut muscles, while ice applications can reduce painful swelling.
- Progress cautiously. You can expect to experience some pain at first, especially if you’ve been inactive for a while. However, if you sense that a certain movement and activity might be too much for you, trust your instincts and stop. Instead, try to increase the time and intensity of your workouts gradually.
Surgery with Dr. Keith Girton
Dr. Keith Girton is our Cincinnati spine doctor who offers premier care for patients with spinal arthritis.
If you have tried different conservative methods for your arthritis for weeks or months and they have been ineffective, you may be a candidate for surgery. At BEST Health System, we believe in utilizing minimally invasive procedures to minimize the incision and recovery time. Dr. Keith Girton, our board-certified spine and orthopaedic surgeon, specializes in minimally invasive procedures.
Contact us today if you are interested in learning more about treatment with Dr. Keith Girton.