If you’re in pain, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. Besides the discomfort, you may worry that working the affected joint will cause further injury, and more pain. In fact, the opposite is true. Current research overwhelming suggests that for osteoarthritis, reasonable amounts of exercise can only help. Exercise has become widely considered the most effective treatment beyond medicine for reducing pain and swelling and improving knee function.
Consider the following types of exercise to maintain and improve movement and comfort.
Stretching refers to the ability to move your joints through the full motion they were designed to achieve. Stretch regularly for joint maintenance and flexibility.
Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and makes your lungs more efficient. It also reduces fatigue, builds stamina, and aids in weight control, all of which will lessen your OA symptoms. Other benefits involve lowering the risk of fractures (by stopping or slowing the loss of bone mass) and toning muscles that support joints. Aerobic exercise includes walking, jogging, bicycling and swimming, among others.
Strengthening boosts muscle strength. Strong muscles will better support and protect arthritic joints. Aqua aerobics is a great, low-impact way to improve strength.
Read more: Knee Joint Pain and Osteoarthritis