Total Joint Replacement
Lifespan Orthopedics Institute

Arthritis and Exercise

Exercising can ease arthritis symptoms and slow joint deterioration.

Arthritis impacts more than 50 percent of people age 50 and older. Arthritic joints hurt. When you are in pain because of a stiff and achy joint, it can be hard to muster the enthusiasm to go out and walk, run, or even swim. Yet, you’re constantly encouraged to exercise in order to preserve your joint health. Moderate, appropriate exercise will enable you to continue doing your daily activities and boost the quality of your life.

Patient at arthritis and exercise center

What Kinds of Exercise Help?

The Arthritis Foundation recommends a variety of activities to keep your joints flexible and strong.

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Keeping active can aid in preserving your bones and cartilage. Exercise helps build endurance, strengthen your muscles, and increase your flexibility, which ultimately will protect your joints. Without exercise, joints become more stiff and painful, and bones become brittle and susceptible to fractures. In fact, exercising may help patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis delay or avoid total hip replacement surgery, according to a 2013 study reported in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

A combination of flexibility (range-of-motion), aerobic (endurance), and strengthening exercises is recommended for people who are living with arthritis. Low impact exercises, including water exercises, bicycling, and walking, are particularly beneficial. Health care providers, physical therapists and rehabilitation specialists can prescribe the best routine for you.

Physical therapy patient

Need Pain Relief? Education and Physical Therapy Can Help

Recent research has suggested that providing the patient with educational information about pain, including why pain occurs and what factors affect the pain experience, can actually reduce pain. 

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