How Can I Stay Active with Osteoarthritis?

May 2018

Q: I’ve had osteoarthritis for years, and I know I should be more active. How can I exercise safely?

Research shows that people can and should exercise when they have osteoarthritis. In fact, exercise is considered the most effective non-drug treatment for reducing pain and improving movement in osteoarthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Three kinds of exercise are important for people with osteoarthritis: exercises involving range of motion, aerobic exercises and strengthening exercises. Each plays a role in maintaining and improving your ability to move and function. Speak with your doctor or physical therapist about the exercises that are best for you.

Injuries from routine falls or severe bangs and bumps during athletic activities can cause cartilage tears or can permanently alter the way your joints move so that they wear down cartilage more than usual. You can help avoid injuries that may lead to osteoarthritis by taking care of your body. Warming up and stretching before exercise can help prevent serious injury. If you do injure yourself, see your doctor to receive proper treatment. Injuries left untreated may heal improperly, which could lead to further damage later on.

Source: The Arthritis Foundation

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