"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Exercise: The Rx to Control Osteoarthritis

When your joints are stiff and sore, exercise could be the last item you desire to do. But exercise to scale back pain and stay energetic is a vital a part of osteoarthritis treatment.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic and progressive disease characterised by the lack of cartilage that covers and protects the ends of bones where they meet at a joint. Without this protective coating, bone rubs against bone, causing irritation and inflammation. The result’s joint pain and stiffness, and infrequently pain in the encircling muscles and ligaments.

Osteoarthritis is the leading reason behind disability within the United States. The condition occurs in about equal numbers of men and women, but symptoms appear in women after age 55, about 10 years later than in men. It often affects the hips, knees, spine, and hands.

Because most individuals diagnosed with osteoarthritis are older — about half of those over age 65 have it to a point — it's long been considered a standard a part of aging that affects cartilage. Reflects the damage and tear of a lifetime. But experts now know that there are lots of aspects besides age involved. The risk of osteoarthritis will be inherited. Injury or illness may also trigger the deterioration. The rate of growth is determined by genetics, biomechanical forces, and biological and chemical processes, all of which vary from individual to individual.

Being obese is strongly linked to osteoarthritis, because it puts extra stress on the knees, hips and spine. An ongoing study of individuals living in Framingham, Mass., found that those that were obese as children had higher rates of knee osteoarthritis of their 30s and 40s. Compared to the thinnest women, the heaviest women are twice as more likely to develop osteoarthritis and thrice more more likely to develop severe knee osteoarthritis. In the Nurses' Health Study, women who were the heaviest at age 18 were seven times more more likely to develop acute osteoarthritis of the hip than the lightest women.

Proper treatment of osteoarthritis includes exercise.

There is not any cure for osteoarthritis, but there are lots of things you may do to slow its progression, reduce pain, and maintain or improve function. Losing weight will be especially helpful for those who are obese or obese. You can often relieve pain with over-the-counter analgesics comparable to acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen and aspirin. The use of rods, splints, or braces could also be mandatory to guard the joint from further injury.

But if there's one treatment for osteoarthritis that an individual with osteoarthritis should do on daily basis, it's exercise. Regular exercise strengthens muscles and improves flexibility and balance. It not only helps reduce pain and stiffness but additionally improves overall health. It's also good in your mood and stopping other aging conditions.

Exercise as a vital a part of osteoarthritis prevention and treatment, especially in people age 65 and older. After reviewing the evidence, the group also concluded that moderate exercise doesn’t – as some have feared – increase the chance of osteoarthritis.

Research shows that older women can manage osteoarthritis pain by getting one to 2 hours of moderate physical activity each week. Lack of exercise can directly contribute to osteoarthritis, particularly by causing atrophy of the supporting and shock-absorbing muscles across the knee.

Basic components of an exercise prescription are activities that improve flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance. Exercise ought to be tailored to the person to avoid injury and progression of osteoarthritis. This normally means starting with an evaluation by a physician, physical therapist, or other health skilled experienced in managing osteoarthritis. The activities your doctor recommends—and the way much and the way often to exercise—will rely on a wide range of aspects, including which joints are involved, how severe the pain is, how fit your needs are, and You produce other medical conditions. .

Flexibility (range of motion) exercises.

The first step is flexibility exercises to assist improve joint mobility, reduce stiffness, and stop the tissues across the joint from hardening.

Flexibility exercises gently stretch and lengthen muscles and move joints through a relaxed range of motion—you shouldn't feel pain—but create a way of resistance. You should perform these exercises (see examples) while you feel the smallest amount of pain and stiffness — for instance, after a hot shower or at the top of the day. If you are taking pain relievers, do the stretching when the medication is having essentially the most effect. You can start with only one or two exercises a day, thrice per week, but attempt to do several exercises at the least once a day.

Inner leg stretch.

Sit along with your knees bent and the soles of your feet together. Pull your heels near your body. Holding the shins or ankles along with your hands, slowly bend your upper body forward and gently press your knees along with your elbows. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.

Stretching the hips and lower back.

Lie in your back with legs spread. Keep your neck on the ground but look down at your chest. Bend each knees and grasp them along with your hands, pulling your knees toward your shoulders so far as they are going to comfortably go. Take a deep breath and exhale as you bring the knees together. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds while respiratory normally.

Double hip rotation.

Lie in your back along with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keeping your shoulders on the ground, slowly lower your knees to 1 side and switch your head to the alternative side. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Bring your knees back to center and repeat on the opposite side.

Strength (resistance) training

By strengthening muscles, you protect and support affected joints and improve overall function. Inactivity as a consequence of osteoarthritis, in addition to aging usually, can reduce muscle mass, resulting in weakness and weakness.

Strength training involves contracting muscles against resistance. Resistance will be from your personal body or from hand or ankle weights or resistance bands. Your physician will recommend specific exercises based on the condition of your joints and your pain level. Muscles shouldn’t be exercised to the purpose of fatigue. Start with 4 to 6 repetitions as a substitute of the eight to 12 typically related to resistance training. If you might have joint pain that lasts greater than an hour after your workout, you're probably overdoing it. You shouldn’t strength train greater than two days per week.

Chair stand.

Rest the chair against the wall. Sit in front of a chair, knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Lean back right into a semi-reclined position by crossing your arms and placing your hands in your shoulders. Bring your upper body forward, keeping your head, neck and back straight, after which slowly rise up. pause Slowly sit down and return to your original position. Repeat 4 to 6 times; Gradually construct as much as eight to 12 repetitions.

Hip extension.

Holding on to the back of the chair for balance, bend your trunk forward and slowly raise your right leg straight behind you. Lift it as high as you may without bending or moving your knee. pause Slowly lower the leg back to the starting position. Do 4 to 6 repetitions. Repeat with the left leg. Gradually construct as much as eight to 12 repetitions. For added resistance, wear an ankle weight on the leg you're lifting.


Lie in your back along with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Place your palms flat on the ground next to your hips. Keep your back straight as you lift your hips as high off the mat as you may, using only your hands for balance. pause Do not lower your hips to the ground, then lift again. Repeat 4 to 6 times; Repeat eight to 12 slowly.

Endurance (or aerobic) exercise

Low-impact aerobic exercise improves cardiovascular and overall function, supports your sense of well-being, helps with weight management, and builds muscle while protecting joints. Good selections include bicycling, walking, swimming, rowing, and using an elliptical trainer. You may have to avoid activities that put a whole lot of stress on the joints, comparable to running and sports that involve jumping, turning sharply, or making sudden stops – for instance tennis and basketball.

Swimming and pool exercises have many advantages for individuals with osteoarthritis. Warm water soothes muscles and joints. The high velocity of the water reduces the load in your joints, and the water provides resistance, which increases muscle strength. Try to do half-hour of low-impact aerobic exercise at the least 4 times per week.