(HealthDay News) -- Rheumatoid arthritis is triggered by an overactive immune system that attacks the body's own joints, causing flares of pain and stiffness.
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The American College of Rheumatology says about 13 million Americans have the disease. The ACR recommends regular exercise, except during painful flares.
Here's more of its expert advice:
- When joints are painful or you feel tired, stick to gentle range-of-motion exercises to help keep the joints flexible.
- When you are feeling well, focus on muscle-strengthening and low-impact cardiovascular exercises.
- Work with a physical or occupational therapist to determine which exercises and intensity are best for you.
- Feelings of anxiety, depression or isolation are common. Your health care provider can help you work through these feelings, which tend to subside when you're feeling better.
-- Diana Kohnle
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