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Arthritis Essay

979 words - 4 pages


Most of us know someone who has arthritis.  Over 40 million Americans experience some type of arthritis during some point in their lives.  Arthritis is a painful disease that breaks down the cartilage in the joints.  When the cartilage in a joint is broken down and degenerates there is no cushion for the bones and they begin to rub and grind on each other causing pain.  There are over 100 different types of arthritis, Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most common.  In osteoarthritis, the cartilage begins to degenerate in various joints.  It is found typically in the hands, spine, hips, and knees.  Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, systemic inflammatory ...view middle of the document...

   When the person is performing aerobic training, general intensity guidelines occur.  That means start the individual out slowly and gradually which would be about 40-60% of his or her max heart rate and gradually increase to greater than 60% of their heart rate.  Aerobic exercise sessions to start should be relatively short, for instance 5-10 minutes. Eventually duration should progress to 20-30 minutes a session as tolerated. 150 minutes of moderate intensity per week should be a goal.  
Resistance training or weight training should be performed 2-3 days a week and flexibility/ ROM exercises should be emphasized and performed at least daily.  When the individual is taking part in a weight training session, they should begin with low weight, about 10% of their maximum and they should gradually progress at a rate of 10% per week eventually to 40-60% of their 1-RM.  They should perform at least one set with 10-15 repetitions if the pain can be tolerated.  They should have a total body workout program with at least one exercise for each major muscle group.  If a certain individual has significant joint pain or muscle weakness, the program may include maximum volume isometric contractions around the joint, and gradually progress to the more dynamic training.  The flexibility program should also be a total body program that stretches all major muscle groups.  Four sets of each major muscle group should be performed.
There are a few other special considerations that one should follow when prescribing exercise for people with arthritis.  The individual should avoid strenuous exercises during periods of inflammation of a joint.  However it is important that they gently move the joints through their full range of motion during these periods.  When you progress an individual, it is more important to extend the duration of a session rather than the intensity.  One thing that is very important for people with arthritis is that they have a proper warm up and cool down period lasting...

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