What is osteoarthritis?Osteoarthritis is a common chronic disorder of the joints and mainly affects older adults. In healthy joints, cartilage covers the surface of the joint and helps to absorb shock and allows for smooth movement. With osteoarthritis, there is degeneration of the cartilage leading to stiffness, pain, and limited mobility. The most common joints affected by arthritis are the hips, knees, big toes, spine and hands. Interestingly there is a poor correlation between the severity of the condition based on imaging compared with people’s perceived pain levels. Exercise Physiologist’s can help individuals with osteoarthritis keep active and manage their symptoms. In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of exercise physiology for osteoarthritis and how it can help you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
How can exercise physiology help with OA symptoms?
Exercise physiology is the scientific study of the physiological and metabolic responses to physical activity. In the context of osteoarthritis, exercise physiology focuses on developing exercise programs that are safe and effective for individuals with joint pain and limited mobility. The goal of exercise physiology for osteoarthritis is to improve strength, joint function, reduce pain, and enhance overall physical fitness.
Exercise physiology for osteoarthritis is a holistic approach that takes into account an individual’s unique needs and limitations. The exercise program may include a combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises, tailored to each person’s specific needs. Some of the benefits of exercise physiology for osteoarthritis:
- Reduced Joint Pain: Exercise can help reduce joint pain by improving joint mobility, reducing inflammation, and strengthening the muscles around the joint.
- Improved Joint Function: Exercise can improve joint function by increasing range of motion, reducing stiffness, and improving balance and coordination.
- Increased Muscle Strength: Exercise can help increase muscle strength, which can help support the joints and improve overall physical function.
- Weight Management: Exercise can help with weight management, which can reduce the stress on the joints and improve overall health.
- Improved Mental Health: Exercise can have a positive impact on mental health, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, which are common in individuals with osteoarthritis.
Exercise physiology for osteoarthritis is a safe and effective way to manage joint pain and maintain an active lifestyle. However, it is important to consult with a qualified exercise physiologist before starting an exercise program. They can help develop an exercise plan that is tailored to your individual needs and limitations and ensure that you exercise safely and effectively.
Exercise physiology for osteoarthritis can help individuals manage joint pain, improve joint function, increase muscle strength, and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. With the help of a qualified exercise physiologist, individuals with osteoarthritis can develop a safe and effective exercise program that is tailored to their unique needs and limitations. Exercise may be challenging at first, but with perseverance, individuals with osteoarthritis can experience the benefits of exercise and improve their overall quality of life.References
- Fransen, M., McConnell, S., Harmer, A. R., Van der Esch, M., Simic, M., & Bennell, K. L. (2015). Exercise for osteoarthritis of the knee: a Cochrane systematic review. British journal of sports medicine, 49(24), 1554-1557
- Brosseau, L., Taki, J., Desjardins, B., Thevenot, O., Fransen, M., Wells, G. A., … & Toupin-April, K. (2015). The Ottawa panel clinical practice guidelines for the management of knee osteoarthritis: Part one: Introduction, and mind-body exercise programs. Clinical rehabilitation, 29(11), 1061-1075.
- Uthman, O. A., van der Windt, D. A., Jordan, J. L., Dziedzic, K. S., Healey, E. L., & Peat, G. M. (2014). Exercise for lower limb osteoarthritis: systematic review incorporating trial sequential analysis and network meta-analysis. Bmj, 348, f5555.
- Porcheret, M., Jordan, K., Jinks, C., Croft, P., & Bedson, J. (2010). Primary care treatment of knee pain—a survey in older adults. Rheumatology, 49(11), 2214-2220.