Precautions and Contraindications
Research has shown that physical activity does not worsen the physical makeup of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. However, there are certain considerations individuals with rheumatoid arthritis may wish to consider. In the beginning days and weeks after beginning an exercise program, individuals with rheumatoid arthritis may experience some aches and pains associated with engaging muscles in active manners. To manage and eventually eliminate this soreness, individuals should engage in full and proper warm up and cool down exercises and consider modifying the frequency and duration of exercises until the aches and pains mostly subside.
Unlike simple aches and pains, individuals with rheumatoid arthritis will experience flare ups at varying frequencies. When experiencing these intense flare ups, they may be better off actively resting than pushing themselves to accomplish exercises and other potentially strenuous physical activities.
Finally, while exercise does not cause additional damage to the joints of those with rheumatoid arthritis, they may wish to engage in lower impact activities such as water-based exercise or elliptical or stationary bicycle workouts, as opposed to higher impact activities such as jogging, jumping, and heavy lifting.