Is exercise bad for your joints?

There is a common misconception that exercise is bad for your joints, particularly for those who suffer from conditions such as osteoarthritis. However, the opposite is actually true: regular exercise can be beneficial for your joints, and can help to improve symptoms of joint pain and stiffness.

One of the main benefits of exercise for your joints is that it can help to improve joint mobility and range of motion. When joints are not used, they can become stiff and lose their normal range of motion. This can cause pain and make it more difficult to perform everyday activities. Exercise, on the other hand, can help to keep joints moving and lubricated, which can help to reduce stiffness and pain.

Exercise can also help to improve the strength of the muscles that support the joints. When muscles are weak, they put extra stress on the joints, which can lead to pain and increased risk of injury. Strong muscles, on the other hand, can help to take pressure off the joints and protect them from injury.

Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, running, and weightlifting, can also help to improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak, fragile bones. In addition, regular exercise can also aid in weight management, as being overweight can put extra stress on the joints.

Another important benefit of exercise is that it can help to improve overall cardiovascular fitness and endurance which can help to reduce the risk of chronic disease, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

It’s important to note that it’s not necessary to do high-impact or intense exercises, specially if you are already dealing with joint problems. Low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling, and Tai chi can provide many of the same benefits, but with less stress on the joints. And It’s also important to avoid exercises that aggravate your joint pain and discomfort, and to take appropriate precautions, such as warming up before exercising and using proper form when lifting weights.

In conclusion, exercise is not bad for your joints, it’s actually beneficial for your joint health. People with joint problems should consult with a doctor or physical therapist to create an exercise plan tailored to their specific needs and limitations.


Pure Physiotherapy can support you with any musculoskeletal concerns you may have. Our clinics located throughout the UK are here to help. Find the nearest clinic to you and book an appointment online.



  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). (2020). Exercise and Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
  • American College of Rheumatology. (2021). Exercise and Arthritis.
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2021). Exercise and Arthritis.
  • Arthritis Foundation. (2021). Exercise and Arthritis: Joint-Friendly Fitness Tips.