Exercises That Help Seniors With Arthritis
For many seniors, dealing with the pain of arthritis is a daily struggle. It is estimated that more than half of all seniors have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. And according to the Arthritis Foundation, the best way to manage and reduce the pain associated with arthritis is to exercise regularly. However, maintaining an active lifestyle can be difficult when you are experiencing pain. The following gentle exercises can help seniors with arthritis reduce their arthritis pain and improve their overall health:
Arthritis Of The Hands Or Wrists
One of the most common forms of arthritis is arthritis of the hands or wrists. There are many different exercises you can try to help relieve the pain of arthritis in the hands or wrists including fist closes, wrist bends, and making an “O”. Both the fist closing and making an “O” exercises will help you maintain flexibility in your fingers, although the making an “O” exercise may be more difficult for seniors with very serious arthritis. In the fist close exercise ball your hand into a fist and hold it there for five seconds, then release and repeat. In the making an “O” exercise, attempt to make an “O” shape with your hand by holding your fingers together and bending your thumb to meet your index finger. While this exercise may be difficult at first, it should get easier with time. If your arthritis pain is in your wrists, wrist bends can help relieve the pain and prevent your wrists from feeling “stuck”. To complete this exercise, place your elbow on top of a table with your hand facing upward and slowly push back your open palm using your other hand. Try to push as far as possible without causing pain. Hold for five seconds and then release. Now reverse and push your hand forward, hold for five seconds and then release.
Arthritis Of The Knees Or Hips
Seniors who are suffering with arthritis of the hips may benefit from sitting stretch exercises. This exercise helps you gently move and stretch your hips while also stretching the muscles in your legs. Sit on the floor and stretch your legs out in front of you. Slowly bend forward at the hips, reaching for your feet. It is ok if you aren’t able to reach very far at first, over time you will become more flexible and will reach further. If you are suffering with arthritis of the knees, try step-up exercises. These exercises gently bend your knee and help to relive pain in the knee. You need not use special equipment or take an entire flight of stairs for this exercise to be effective. These exercises can be completed by stepping one foot at a time up onto a stair, stepping backward off of the stair, and then repeating.
Arthritis Of The Feet Or Ankles
Arthritis of the feet or ankles may be improved with an exercise called ankle circles. Standing straight up, lift one foot off the floor, point your toes downward, and draw a circle. Complete five full circles and then reverse the direction of the circle. Complete the exercise with each foot. Hold on to the side of a chair or table to help with balance. This exercise helps relieve the pain of arthritis in the ankles and feet by moving your ankle through its full range of motion.
Arthritis Throughout The Body
If you suffer from the pain of arthritis in multiple areas of your body, swimming is a great exercise for the overall body. Water helps relieve your joints from the weight of your body, making it easier to move the joints with less pain. If you’re not a swimmer, or can no longer swim, you can still get the same benefits of swimming by joining a water aerobics class where you stand in the shallow end of the pool.
The Best Of Florida Senior Living Combined With Compassionate Care
If you’re looking for the best senior care for you or your loved one, look no further than Mease Manor Retirement Community. We have options to fit every senior living need from independent living to assisted living. Focusing strongly on care and support, we value encouraging our residents to live active and engaging lifestyles. You will find everything you are looking for while at Mease Manor. Contact us online or call us at 727-738-3000 to schedule your personal tour today!