Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is a condition that affects the whole joint including the muscles, bones, cartilage and ligaments.
It is more common in older people but can affect younger people as well.
The joints most often affected by OA are the hips, knees, hands and feet. The body works to keep the joints healthy by responding to small injuries that happen during regular use but sometimes this active repair process is not complete. Some of the joint structures can become damaged and symptoms of OA may develop. It is a degenerative condition, just like many people get grey hair as they age!
How does exercise help with osteoarthritis?
Pain can make people avoid activity and this can lead to muscle weakness, feelings of joint instability, more pain and other health problems, particularly in people with OA in the knees, hips or ankles and feet. Staying active and keeping muscles strong can help with pain and stop the cycle of decline.
Which is why exercise is one of the most important treatments for OA. All OA clinical guidelines recommend exercise as an important part of keeping joints moving and healthy.
What are some of the specific benefits of exercise for osteoarthritis?Exercise can relieve OA symptoms of the knee and hip just as well as pain medications, but it is safer and has fewer side effects. The benefits of exercise are many, including feeling less pain, maintaining a healthy weight to reduce the load on painful joints, being able to do more, and having better general health.
What type of exercise is best if I have osteoarthritis?
Try to do some physical activity on most days of the week by combining strengthening and aerobic exercise
Strengthening exercises can be performed at home or at the gym. The thigh, hip and calf muscles, which are important for daily tasks, are often weak in people with lower limb OA and are an important part of a strength program. Strengthening these muscles can support and take pressure off sore joints, improve balance and reduce the feeling of giving way.
Aerobic exercise is an activity that increases your pulse rate and makes you breathe harder. Regular aerobic exercise can help you sleep better, burn calories for weight management and increase your energy levels and general health. Activities may include walking, swimming, cycling or using a stationary bike. People who are overweight or those with severe disease may find aquatic exercise particularly helpful because the support provided by the water reduces the load on painful joints. Water exercise can also be used as an initial form of exercising before progressing to, or in combination with, land-based exercise.
Other types of beneficial exercise include tai chi, balance exercises, and stretching and flexibility exercises to improve the range of motion of joints and muscles.
For a specific program for you osteoarthritis management contact us or make an appointment online for an initial assessment to get started.
✔ Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis.
✔ Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis is generally undertaken from the symptoms the person is experiencing, and an xray is not essential to diagnose or decide on the best treatments.
✔ Motion is lotion for our joints, and exercise can help to relieve the symptoms of Osteoarthritis and get you back to doing the things you love!