Dr. Ruderman explains if women with arthritis can exercise.
You know, I think the most important thing that a woman can do for herself is to remain active. One of the things that I often see is that a woman who comes in, who has developed arthritis or has had arthritis for a period of time and feels that she needs to protect her joints and not do anything and sort of baby her joints so that they don’t hurt. And in fact the exact opposite is true, and by not using a joint you can actually make things worse and make symptoms worse.
Careful, reasonable exercise actually will not damage your joints in someone who has arthritis. So a lot of these women are afraid to do much exercise because they are afraid of causing more damage. That’s actually not true and if you are careful about it, sometimes with the assistance of a trainer or physical therapist, you can develop an exercise regimen that not only won’t damage your joints but will actually make you feel better by increasing the strength of the tissues around the joints, reducing the pain that way and if you remember that many types of arthritis are associated with decreased cardiovascular health, exercise can certainly benefit that as well.
So I think that one of the most important things that you can do if you have arthritis is to remain active and put yourself in a really regular exercise program over time.
About Dr. Ruderman, M.D.:
Dr. Eric M. Ruderman, M.D., is associate professor in the division of rheumatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. He is also a board member of the Arthritis Foundation of Greater Chicago.
Dr. Ruderman graduated from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York, New York. He completed his residence at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and his fellowship training in rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.