When you are in pain, your joints can get hot, red and swollen. It can be difficult to continue with your daily activities. Remember, daily activities maintain your muscle strength and your joints range of motion. Even on the bad days, you still need to move your muscles and joints. Exercise eases pain by lengthening and strengthening the muscles and taking pressure off the joint. If you find yourself doing less activity, you can have weak muscles and painful joints.
Water exercise can help restore muscles strength and joint flexibility. A pool temperature of about 90 degrees will relax deep muscles and the warm water will support about 80% of your body weight. Check your local area to get more information about participating in water exercises. Make sure to pick a program that will make you feel better. When you are finished with a class, you should feel better. If you experience pain 2 hours after your class, then you probably did too much. Decrease the number of exercises you do or the frequency of classes you attend.
Some guidelines you should follow:
- Always check with your doctor first before starting any kind of program
- Keep a journal of the classes you attend, symptoms you had after the class and the pain intensity. This will help you determine if you are in the right class.
- If you have done too much in your class, take a nice bath, shower or sit in a hot tub. This will help relax your muscles and joints.
- Make sure to pace yourself. If you are having a good day, don’t try and get all of your chores done at once.
- Get plenty of rest and take care of yourself