What Causes Flat FeetArthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by inflammation and swelling in one or more joints; this often leads to pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. While there are multiple types of arthritis, the most common are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Active individuals who lead physically demanding lives may find themselves struggling with their arthritis management. This is where Dr. Brian Kelly, an orthopedic surgeon with years of experience and a history of excellence, can help.

Understanding Arthritis

To effectively manage arthritis, it is essential to have a good understanding of the condition. Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) each uniquely impact active individuals. OA is a degenerative disease that tends to affect weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees, and ankles, which are crucial for most athletic activities. Over time, the wear and tear caused by frequent, high-intensity exercise can accelerate this degenerative process, leading to increased pain and stiffness, which reduces joint function. This decrease in function can significantly limit an individual's ability to perform at their best and maintain a regular exercise routine.

Unlike OA, RA is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint. Just like OA, however, it can make exercise more challenging due to the inflammation and pain in the joints. RA can lead to periods of intense flare-ups and fatigue, making regular training and performance consistency difficult to maintain. Yet, moderate and regular exercise is part of the recommended management strategy for RA, as it can help reduce inflammation and strengthen the muscles supporting the affected joints.

The Role of Physical Activity

One may assume that having arthritis means completely avoiding physical activity, but this couldn't be further from reality! In fact, regular physical activity is highly beneficial for managing arthritis symptoms. It can help improve joint mobility, reduce inflammation and pain, and boost overall physical and mental well-being.

As an active individual, it is crucial to continue engaging in physical activity while managing arthritis. Dr. Kelly helps patients find the right balance between staying physically active and avoiding activities that may worsen their symptoms.

Key Tips to Exercising With Arthritis

Maintaining physical activity is a great way to relieve pain with arthritis, but it is important that the specific exercises are done in a healthy manner. Overusing your joints can be just as bad as underusing them, so there is a delicate balance if you intend to relieve arthritis pain and not exacerbate it. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Choose Low Impact Exercises: Some kinds of exercise are more helpful for joint pain than others. Sudden, forceful impacts to your joints can worsen or accelerate cartilage damage. Lower impact exercises avoid these forces while focusing on maintaining range of motion and strengthening the muscles that stabilize your joints. Examples of low impact exercises include swimming, biking, elliptical trainers, water aerobics, and yoga.
  • Stretch in Abundance: Both before and after you work out, make sure to get some good stretches in. This is excellent for your blood flow and is a great way to alleviate some of the pain and stiffness that comes from exerting yourself and your joints through exercise.
  • Heat First, Ice Later: A key tip for exercising with joint inflammation is to apply heat to your joints roughly twenty minutes before exercising to help loosen your muscles and tendons; then apply ice or something cold to your joints shortly after you've finished for about 20-30 minutes.

Customized Treatment Plans

Treating arthritis involves a comprehensive approach that takes into account the individual's medical history, lifestyle, and personal goals. Dr. Kelly works closely with patients to create a customized treatment plan that suits their specific needs. This may include a combination of a home exercise regimen, physical therapy, nutritional supplements, medications, injections, and other non-invasive treatments.

For those who require surgery, Dr. Kelly is highly skilled in performing minimally invasive procedures to help relieve pain and restore joint function. With his expertise, patients are able to return to their active lifestyles with minimal downtime.

Education and Support

Patient education is another important factor to Dr. Kelly in helping them understand how to properly treat arthritis. No one likes medical jargon that they can't wrap their head around, and Dr. Kelly understands this. He makes it a point to lay out the details regarding the treatment of his patients in terminology that they can understand and engage with.

Dr. Kelly also provides ongoing support and guidance to his patients throughout their journey with arthritis. He helps them understand the importance of regular exercise and offers advice on how they can continue staying active while managing their condition. With his support, patients can confidently navigate their arthritis management and enjoy a better quality of life.

Schedule A Visit With Dr. Brian Kelly Today

If you're an active individual who is struggling with arthritis and the joint pain that accompanies it, don't let that hold you back from doing what you love. Schedule a visit with Dr. Kelly today and take the first step toward effective arthritis management.

Dr. Brian Kelly, MD is an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor experienced in treating a variety of injuries and conditions. Dr. Kelly and his expert team will make sure that you get the treatment you need to get back in the game. Schedule an appointment at the offices of Dr. Brian Kelly today.