Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic degenerative joint condition that affects an estimated 27 million people in the US. Most commonly seen in the knees, OA causes a breakdown of the cartilage that both protects and mobilizes the joints.
It might seem a bit counterintuitive to encourage people suffering from osteoarthritis to actively move their joints on a consistent basis. However, while our doctors do treat osteoarthritis patients in the Hamilton, NJ, area using anti-inflammatory medicine, an equally important aspect of your treatment plan includes exercise in treating the pain and mobility loss associated with osteoarthritis.
Instead of causing greater damage to joints, physical activity actually benefits OA patients many different ways including:
- Weight Loss — Shedding even a few of those extra pounds can make a huge difference, in terms of taking pressure off your aching joints. We recommend a combination of consistent movement and a diet high in lean protein, good fats and unprocessed carbohydrates.
- Range of Motion — The phrase “move it or lose it” definitely applies to stiff and inflamed joints. Exercise has been shown to help cartilage and aid in mobility. The key here is to focus on proper movement patterns so the joints “re-learn” to function as they were intended.
- Strength — In addition to weight loss, strengthening the muscles that support and stabilize the joints will help increase mobility and decrease pain.
- Mood — Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking for relieving pain and stress. You might not be able to adopt an intense workout regimen while living with osteoarthritis, but even the smallest habit changes can lead to progress over time. Once you start to see the results of increased physical activity, you will feel better physically and mentally.
Your ARBDA physician will be able to recommend the types of exercise(s) that are best to treat your specific condition. In general, a low-impact activity such as walking, yoga, biking (standard or stationary), swimming or utilizing an elliptical machine can help you build strength and endurance without putting too much strain on your joints.
In this infographic, we’ve highlighted a few small, inexpensive exercise tools you can use for osteoarthritis relief in the comfort of your own home. (
Coping with osteoarthritis can be painful and frustrating. With the help of the entire Team at Arthritis, Rheumatic, & Back Disease Associates, you can begin to enjoy a more mobile, pain-free lifestyle. For more information about our osteoarthritis treatment options in Moorestown, NJ, give us a call today.