According to a study, mild exercise helps in decreasing pain, improving mobility and adds to the quality of life of older adults suffering from arthritis including other muscle and joint conditions.
“Joints will often stiffen if not used and muscles will weaken if not exercised. Our bodies are meant to move, and inactivity leads to weakness and stiffness, and joints with arthritis often worsen with inactivity,” said Theodore Fields, Managing Director of Rheumatology Faculty Practice Plan at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), US.
Participants were asked to perform chair and floor mat exercises using stretch bands and some other gentle exercises. The programme also integrated chinese breathing techniques and meditation.
A survey was done with 256 participants of which 93 per cent were female; 73% of them belonged to the age group of 60-79 years before the begining of the classes and again at the ending of the classes to evaluate pain, physical functioning, stiffness, fatigue, balance and other health indicators.
There were visible differences in the intensity of the pain, physical function, balance, after completing the classes.
Participants also confirmed improvement in the ability to perform daily tasks such as lifting, or carrying groceries; climbing stairs; bending, kneeling, stooping; and bathing.
“The study results are consistent with the experience of rheumatologists and with prior studies showing that exercise, even of mild degree, helps with pain. Getting people up and moving does appear to help with mood, pain and overall functioning,” Fields added.
The study was presented at the American Public Health Association annual meeting.