It may seem counterintuitive to exercise when suffering with joint pain, but physical activity is actually a natural pain reliever for most people suffering from arthritis.
A recent study published in Arthritis Care and Research journal concluded that regular exercise, specifically the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, is an effective course in significantly improving and managing arthritis pain. This is good news for the aging population of U.S. baby boomers who want to get back to basics with a natural remedy for pain. In fact, arthritis is projected to increase by 40 percent, affecting 67 million Americans, in the next two decades.
The in-depth study looked at the effectiveness of the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, developed in 1987 to reduce pain and stiffness by keeping joints flexible and muscles strong. Key findings of the study include participants reporting a decrease in pain and fatigue, an increase in upper and lower extremity function, and an increase in strength after participating in the basic, eight-week exercise program. Also, participants who continued the exercise program independently, beyond eight weeks, sustained improvement in reduced stiffness.