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Arthritis and Pilates

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more of the joints in your body and can make movement challenging as it can cause pain, stiffness, inflammation and swelling. This can result in weakness and fatigue and a lack of motivation to exercise.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and it is a common condition, affecting approximately 10 million people in the UK. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the UK.

What causes osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis affects synovial joints (those found between bones which move against each other, such as the knee joint), where the cartilage is gradually lost. This causes the underlying bone to thicken, to reduce the load on the cartilage. Bony spurs may form at the edges of the bones. This can cause the space inside the joint to decrease and result in the bones rubbing against each other, causing weakness, pain and inflammation.

Managing arthritis

There is no cure for arthritis but a healthy lifestyle may help to slow the progression of the disease and help to manage the symptoms. Undertaking regular exercise can help to:

- improve muscle strength;

- reduce stiffness and pain; and

- increase flexibility and balance.

Pilates is a great form of exercise to undertake because it is low impact for the joints and is designed to achieve all of the above benefits. Before undertaking any exercise, you should consult your medical professional.

Some particularly beneficial Pilates exercises are listed below. Click on the links to be redirected to other websites which provide videos on how to perform them.

- one leg circles;

- swimming kicks;

- scissor kicks;

- shoulder bridges; and

- single leg stretches.

Key considerations

If you are new to Pilates, or haven't exercised for a while, some key things you should consider before, during and after exercising are:

- warm up slowly;

- avoid painful movements;

- stop if swelling develops;

- you shouldn't experience pain two hours post-exercise; and

- mornings can be the best time to exercise.

How we can help

Estuary Fitness offer a group class on a Monday evening, suitable for all levels of ability and for those who suffer from a range of orthopaedic conditions, including arthritis. Our instructors have undertaken specialist training to ensure you are safe and can provide a variety of options and modifications. Classes are £5 per session.

We also offer private 1-2-1 lessons so you can exercise confidently in the comfort of your own home. Prices start from £25 for a 30 minute session.

Visit our 'book online' page to reserve your session, or do get in touch with us if you have any queries.

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