Safe Exercises When You Have Arthritis

When even walking around the block is uncomfortable because of arthritis in your feet or ankles, exercise may seem out of the question. While we understand your hesitation, exercise and stretching are two of the best ways to offset the pain, discomfort, and inflammation in your lower extremities, and these practices may even slow its progression.

At Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, our team of podiatrists wants to ensure you can make your way in the world without pain hindering every step. While there’s much we can do here at our practice to help with arthritis, you can also improve your life at home with a targeted exercise and stretching regimen.

Since not all exercises are great for arthritic feet, here are a few tips for exercising with lower extremity joint pain.

Provide support

Before you embark on an exercise regimen, you should provide your arthritic feet with as much support as possible through custom orthotics. We custom tailor these inserts to your feet, providing support in key places to take the pressure off of your painful joints.

Ditch the pounding

No matter what type of arthritis you have, it generally leads to pain and inflammation in your joints. When it comes to arthritis in your feet and ankles, the problem can be magnified since your lower extremities play a pivotal role in propelling you throughout the day. In other words, since your feet and ankles already work so hard, when you exercise, try and find activities that don’t pound your already beleaguered joints. 

Swimming, cycling, and rowing are three prime examples of how you can get your cardio workout in without relying on your feet. These non-concussive activities ensure that you still get a great workout without further damaging your feet.

Targeted strengthening and stretching is key

When you have arthritis, your surrounding soft tissues — tendons, ligaments, and muscles — can become tense, which exacerbates the problem, which is why we recommend stretching exercises.

You should combine stretching with strengthening exercises to take some of the pressure off your joints by beefing up the muscles to better support your feet and ankles.

To accomplish both, we recommend:

These are only a few examples, and we can supply you with a full list at your consultation at our offices. We also recommend that you engage in a practice like yoga, which does wonders for both strengthening and flexibility in your joints, including those in your feet and ankles.

If you’d like more ideas about how to exercise safely with arthritis, please schedule an appointment with our podiatric experts at one of our locations in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, Gallatin, Murfreesboro or Lebanon, Tennessee. Simply click here to get started.

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