Exercise & Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition causing pain and swelling of the joints. Inflammation and joint damage occur as the immune system attacks the lining of the joints. The symptoms of RA vary from one person to the next, however the most common symptoms include joint stiffness, particularly in the morning, joint pain and swelling, and usually the same joints on both sides of the body are affected. Systemic symptoms may occur when the disease is active resulting in weight loss, fatigue and low grade fever. Regular physical activity is one of the most beneficial types of treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. Regular exercise can improve mobility and flexibility, increase muscle strength, improve posture and balance, decrease pain, decrease fatigue and reduce muscle tension. An exercise rehabilitation program may include aerobic exercise, gentle strength training, flexibility exercises and water exercise (hydrotherapy). It’s important to have a program prescribed by an Accredited Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist to ensure it is suited to your needs and is safe for you.



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