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Arthritis: How much exercise is too much?

If you have arthritis, exercise can help you feel and move better. But too much can make you feel worse.

If you have arthritis, exercise can increase your flexibility and muscle strength. But according to the Arthritis Foundation, there's a fine line between doing enough and doing too much.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that you work with your healthcare team to adjust your exercise program if you notice any of these signs:

  • Sharp, stabbing pain.
  • Pain that causes you to limp.
  • Painful or swollen joints that don't get better with rest, medication, or hot or cold packs.
  • Increased joint swelling.
  • Pain that lasts more than two hours after exercise or gets worse at night.

Talk with your physical therapist or doctor to develop an exercise program that works for you.

Reviewed 12/4/2023

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