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Arthritis Exercise is very commonly prescribed for arthritis but thats about as far as it all too frequently goes In other words doctors give patients too little detail or instruction with few illustrations and no precise direction Yet many of the most troublesome and disabling aspects of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteo-arthritis are due to lack of exercise A joint that is immobilized initiates a series of changes that result in total destruction of the joint within about four months This occurs even in the absence of disease by immobilization alone Adhesions begin to appear in the joint a strange tissue grows over the surface of the cartilage and tears occur where tendons are inserted in bone New planes of motion contrary to normal anatomical planes appear followed by enzymatic degradation of the tissues Ligaments become lax losing their tensile strength The cartilage that caps the ends of bones and which is normally four times more slippery than Teflon loses that slipperiness and becomes perforated by ulcers Many of the changes that occur in the joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteo-arthritis are assumed to be caused by a disease process when in fact they are often a consequence of relative immobility These findings underscore the enormous importance of exercise in the fight against arthritis You should realize that immobility will set off the destructive set of events After four or five months such degeneration may be quite well along so that even if you initiate a program of vigorous exercise you may have to wait up to a year for the joints normal motion to return Therefore I say prevention is the order of the day Exercise exerts very favorable influence on the immunological system affecting the production of white blood cells lymphocytes and leukocytes as well as the
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