Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Will Working Out Ease My Arthritis Pain?

Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 05:05 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I’ve been suffering from arthritis for few years and can't exercise because it hurts my knees, shoulders, and ankles. But now I’m starting to gain weight and my doctor says that will make things worse for me. What do you say? Will working out make me feel better or worse?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Weight gain is a severe handicap for any patient with arthritis in their weight-bearing joints (hips, knees, ankles, feet). Those who cannot exercise on a treadmill or stationary bicycle need some other form of aggressive management, in my opinion.
 
Often a warm pool workout can help the arthritic pain, as well as maintain joint range of motion and muscle tone. These sessions can be supervised by a physical therapist on referral from your treating physician. Other pain-relieving options are also available (such as wax packs, ultrasound, stimulation, topical medicated treatments).
 
In any event, it is time to control your pain and your arthritis more aggressively. Ask your doctor to refer you to a rheumatologist for an opinion on further management and, if appropriate, a referral to an orthopedic surgeon for review of options available to you before things get worse.

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Dr. Hibberd's advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital work in emergency medicine and surgery.
 
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