Exercising With Multiple Health Problems

Patient

Q: I am a 53 yr. old female who has several different medical problems including asthma, C.O.P.D., Osteoarthritis of the cervical, thoracic, lumbar spine and knees, Fibromyalgia, trochanteric bursitis, and an incisionl hernia from gallbladder surgery that was done 30 years ago. I need to lose weight and do some sort of exercise, but everything I try to do is painful or next to impossible. What exercises do you recommend?

Doctor

A:   Due to your multiple health issues you must be very careful choosing and combining an adequate exercise routine. I suggest emphasizing cardiovascular and respiratory exercises. A light cardiovascular conditioning can be achieved walking at your own pace 20 minutes three times a week. For the respiratory exercises I suggest that you see a respiratory therapist that can teach you a routine that you can easily follow. For the osteoarthritis, bursitis and fibromyalgia, you will benefit of a physical therapy program that teach you stretching exercises and also control pain with   modalities like TENS, ultrasound, moist heat.

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