Exercise and Osteoarthritis

What Is Osteoarthritis

Your bones have cushioning between them where they meet at the joint, known as Cartilage. If you have Osteoarthritis this cartilage breaks down leading, which can cause stiffness and pain.

Often, if people are in pain from osteoarthritis they will stop exercising. Unfortunately, a lack of exercise can make symptoms of osteoarthritis more painful. Being physically active can help muscles become stronger, improve your balance and increase the movement in your joints.

There are many factors that determine what kind of exercise is best for you. It’s important to think about your current activity levels and any other health problems you have before deciding how to exercise. If you would like advice, you can talk to a Physiotherapist or specialist personal trainer.

Low Impact Exercise

These exercises tend to be gentle, ensuring there isn’t too much strain through your joints.

Walking – you can do this outdoors or use a Treadmill. If you want to make it harder, add in going up and down hills

Tai Chi – this is becoming more popular and you can usually find a class locally. Gentle, flowing movements improve your strength and range of movement in a way that doesn’t push your joints too far

Pilates – this focuses mainly on strengthening your “core” muscles, around your tummy, back and hips

Exercises at home – there are lots of difference exercises you can do at home; this NHS website has some great examples

Aerobic Exercise

This is exercise designed to get you breathing more heavily. It has a range of benefits, including keeping your heart and lungs healthy. It is important to think about what type of exercise you do to make sure you’re not putting too much force through your joints. Common types of aerobic exercise that people find work well are:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Dancing

At Severn Physiotherapy, we offer a mobile service. This means we can visit you at home or at the gym to help you manage your condition and develop an exercise programme that works for you. Click here for information on how to get in touch.

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