Exercise and Osteoarthritis

Have you been diagnosed with osteoarthritis? Have you been told you need to limit activities that cause you to experience some pain? Do you want to remain active but feel your diagnosis is preventing this? Keep reading!

Exercise has been shown to be one of the most effective interventions concerned with the management of osteoarthritis (OA).

Some of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis are:

  • Joint pain
  • Decreased muscular strength
  • Decreased mobility/balance
  • Decreased flexibility/range of movement

Some effects of exercise upon our body include:

  • Increased muscular strength
  • Improves your balance
  • Improves your flexibility/range of movement
  • Helps to improve aerobic fitness and manage our weight

When you first begin to exercise with OA there are some considerations you may wish to make so as to not overly-aggravate your symptoms:

Keep it light – naturally, if you immediately begin with lots of jumping, bouncing or hopping movements it is likely to aggravate existing knee pain for example. Start off in a pool or on a stationary exercise bike. This decreases joint stress and allows you to exercise more comfortably!

Start simple – begin your exercise routine with basic, easy to perform exercises that will ease you in while keeping you relatively comfortable. Don’t run before you can walk!

Use heat and ice – heat can be used prior to exercise to help ‘warm-up’ your muscles and joints thus helping to prepare them for physical activity. Ice is an excellent tool for helping to reduce pain and swelling post-exercise. Remember: you don’t need to apply heat or ice for any more than 20 minutes for it to be of benefit!

Osteoarthritis is as natural as grey hair or wrinkles and doesn’t need to stop you from doing the things you love! Break up tasks to allow adequate rests, slowly build an exercise routine into your life and don’t be scared of moving! If you need advice surrounding the topics above consult your GP or get in touch with us here at Pure Physiotherapy – We are more than happy to help you get more active and overcome life with pain!

Good luck!