If you suffer from osteoarthritis in your hip or knee, you may be tempted to avoid exercise. However, not engaging in physical activity can actually make your symptoms of joint pain and stiffness even worse. Exercising with osteoarthritis is not only safe, it is recommended. In fact, it is one of the best “non-drug treatments” you can do to alleviate your arthritic symptoms and help you avoid joint replacement surgery.
Exercise covers a broad range of physical activity. Do not assume that any type of exercise is beneficial. It is best to consult with your physician about which activities are best for your specific condition. In general, there are three types of exercises that are important for patients with osteoarthritis, and each one plays a unique role in preserving your joint movement.
Flexibility: Stretching is not just for young athletes before a game. It is very important to focus on your joint range of motion. Osteoarthritis can make joint stretching difficult or even painful. However, a diligent exercise program that includes gentle stretches or full range of motion movement can significantly improve flexibility in your joints over time.
Aerobic: These types of exercises are designed to strengthen your heart and lungs. Endurance exercise also helps you control your weight, which can directly impact your joint health. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
Strengthening: It is vitally important to engage in some type of strength exercises during your workout regime. By improving your muscle strength, you can help better support and preserve your arthritic joints.
Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of hip and knee replacement surgery. However, arthritis can be largely prevented and improved with daily exercise. Not only can moving your body save you from an invasive and costly procedure, it can also significantly improve your overall health and mood.
If you are currently suffering from stiff or painful joints, please contact the office of Dr. Brent Michael in Santa Monica. We offer a full menu of diagnostic testing and treatment services for osteoarthritis and other joint conditions.