The good news is that exercise is not only possible, but also highly beneficial for the treatment of arthritis. Arthritis is commonly characterized by stiffness, pain and loss of joint function. Unfortunately, exercise program adherence for many arthritic clients often takes a back seat to rest and inactivity, due to the complications associated with the disorder. Arthritis is second only to cardiovascular disease as a leading cause of disability in the United States. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory disorder affecting multiple joints. These are the two most prevalent arthritic disorders. Osteoarthritis is the most common and stems from degeneration of joint cartilage and changes in the underlying bone structure and supporting tissue. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic inflammation of the joint capsules inner lining. Arthritis can affect people of all ages including children and teens. Some types of arthritis, such as, Osteoarthritis of the knee can be prevented. Research has made it clear that the right types of exercise, performed correctly, restore people’s function while dramatically cutting down on their pain. High Intensity Strength Training has been tested on arthritic patients and is proven to be beneficial. Improvement in function, decreased pain and swelling, increased social and physical activity in daily life and lessened depression and anxiety. Benefits of a resistance training program include strengthening muscle groups around affected joints, offering protection and stabilization of affected joints, improved shock absorption and reducing mechanical stresses that hasten cartilage degeneration. So if you are wondering if exercise and arthritis mix – absolutely. Start with the right program, the right trainer and, of course, check with your doctor first.