Arthritis is an incredibly debilitating disease. From stiffness and pain to limited range of motion, arthritis can make it hard to do tasks as simple as climbing up the stairs or going for a walk. “There are various types of arthritis ailments that affect individuals in different ways. Regardless of the type of arthritis people have, most are seeking long term relief,” says Sean Ruff, a fitness coach and performance enhancement specialist. While uncontrollable factors like age and genetics contribute to the cause, there are lots of external factors that can cause your symptoms to worsen. Some that Ruff notes are eating excessive amounts of sugar and dairy products, drinking alcohol, overtraining, being in cold or damp weather, and inactivity.
It is important to get regular movement in, but also to make sure that you’re not overexerting yourself. Stretching regularly is one thing that can help. While stretching alone won’t cure your arthritis or get rid of any of your symptoms, they can help manage pain. “The best and safest approach for alleviating arthritis pain is to have a drug-free pain management plan in place. This can be accomplished with both dynamic stretching and static stretching. Dynamic stretching involves moving a joint through a range of motion for repetitions to warm up muscles for activity, while static stretching involves holding a joint or muscle in a stretched position for 30 or more seconds to increase flexibility.” Ruff says. He shared his “Fantastic Four” stretches that will help alleviate pain and keep your joints as healthy as possible, as well as how to do them.