osteoarthritis treat with exercise
Osteoarthritis: Treat with Exercise

September 27, 2009

A review article from the University of British Columbia 
in Vancouver shows that exercise does not increase the 
rate of knee damage in people with osteoarthritis, and 
usually reduces knee pain and disability (Canadian Family 
Physician, September 2009).

If you develop pain in your knee that was not caused by 
an accident or trauma, your doctor will usually check you 
for known causes of joint damage. If he finds no cause, 
he will tell you that you have osteoarthritis, which means 
that he doesn't know why your knee hurts. Most people with 
osteoarthritis (not associated with trauma) are overweight, 
do not exercise, and/or have weak muscles that support 
knee movements.

Osteoarthritis causes a higher incidence of disability 
than any other chronic condition. It makes exercise 
difficult, and not exercising increases risk for heart 
attacks. One in three North Americans over 60 have X ray 
evidence of osteoarthritis.

People with osteoarthritis should avoid contact sports, 
but exercise is more effective than any medication to treat 
this condition. The best activities include swimming and 
other water- based exercises, stationary cycling or cycling 
on the road, and muscle strengthening exercises using 
Nautilus machines or similar equipment at a gym. People 
with knee osteoarthritis should avoid sports that involve 
sudden shocks to the knee, such as when the foot hits the 
ground during running. Inactivity and overweight increase 
your chances of further knee damage and often lead to a 
joint replacement.