What is the best lifestyle change for rheumatoid arthritis?
Exercise and other lifestyle habits can make a significant impact in reducing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain. In this video, rheumatologist Paula Rackoff, MD, explains the importance of improving and maintaining muscle strength.
I usually tell people they can get away with anything the first 40, 50 years of their life.
The second 50, it's really not true. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Everyone really needs to exercise. If you actually asked any of my patients, they'll tell you that I tell them
the same thing over and over again, whether they're a new patient or an old patient. I usually tell people, they can get away with anything
the first 40 or 50 years of their life. The second 50, it's really not true. So that means you need to exercise even if you
have rheumatoid arthritis. My favorite two exercises are stationary bike riding. I always tell New Yorkers stationary bike
riding because you're in the bike, and it's really hard to injure yourself once you're on that stationary bike.
And swimming. The stronger your muscles are, the less you're
able to actually injure the actual joint, and it actually takes some pressure off the joint.
For example, arthritis in the knees, if you strengthen the quadriceps, the actual knee joint has less to do,
and it actually slows down the progression of arthritis in your knees. So I would say exercise, taking care of any high cholesterol,
because rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis in and of themselves increase your risk for heart disease.
Smoking not only increases the progression of the arthritis, but it makes it more difficult for the medications
to have effect. And balance training, because everyone's balance gets worse as we get older.
I always tell people that's why we don't see adults at amusement parks. And 90% of hip fractures occur after a fall.
And whenever you fracture a joint, you get secondary osteoarthritis in that particular joint.
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