Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Exercise and Arthritis


Diagnosis is based on a combination of symptoms and X-ray findings. The usual symptoms are pain and stiffness, which increase in the morning and in cold weather. Sometimes the joints become swollen or deformed from the overgrowth of bone.

As long as your exercise program isn't damaging your cartilage, it doesn't increase your chances of developing arthritis. In fact, well-developed and trained muscles act as shock absorbers for the load transmitted to joints. It is probable that regular exercise actually benefits the joints by aiding in the release of synovial fluid which bathes and nourishes cartilage.

However; if a joint has been injured or if you have a biomechanical abnormality such as a limb-length discrepancy moderate bowlegs or knock-knees, you may be at more risk for joint deterioration because of the uneven loading of the joint that occurs with activity. In this case, the best prevention is to see a sports medicine specialist for a biomechanical evaluation, and work to correct underlying problems while assuring muscle tone and balance.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

The other form of arthritis is rheumatoid, or inflammatory arthritis. It results from a systemic (whole-body) condition. Although the exact cause is unknown, there is a hereditary tendency Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease, in which the body attacks its own tissues.

Under the ligaments, the joints are surrounded by a fibrous capsule lined by the synovium, a Saran Wrap-like membrane that produces fluid to lubricate the joints. Joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis is caused by inflammation of the synovium which, if prolonged, destroys the cartilage and ligaments. Joints are stiff and often swollen, and may be hot to the touch.

Early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are fatigue, weakness, vague aches and pains, weight loss, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, joint swelling, limited range of motion and early morning stiffness. Other symptoms include fever; skin rash and anemia.

At its worst, the disease can distort and cripple multiple joints. Exercise is essential to minimize the deformity of rheumatoid arthritis and to maintain mobility. The disease usually develops between the ages of 25 and 45, but it can also be found in infant children. It is three times more likely to occur in women.

How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed? What can I do to prevent arthritis?

Next | 1 | 2 | 3 | Previous

Order Now!
Order The Athletic Woman's Survival Guide
Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.