Exercises to Help Manage Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a normal result of aging. It occurs when the cartilage between bones breaks down causing pain and discomfort. The most common symptoms associated with this condition are pain, stiffness, difficulty moving, and pain after activity. Eventually the pain manifests itself when you’re at rest.

Osteoarthritis can be exacerbated by being overweight, repetitive movements, and sports. One of the best treatments for osteoarthritis is exercise. It may seem counterintuitive to be active when it hurts to move, however it can help with weight management which lessens the impact on your joints. It can also help strengthen the muscles that cushion your joints. Lastly, it will help increase your range of motion which will help stave off the disease getting worse.

If you’re interested in learning more, here are 10 exercises that will help those suffering with osteoarthritis…

1. Water Aerobics

Water exercise is a great option for people with osteoarthritis. It has low resistance and is particularly easy on sore joints. Use pool noodles and water weights to amp up the resistance for a better work out. Many recreation centers offer water aerobic classes.

2. Tai Chi

Tai chi is a brilliant exercise for those with sore joints. The movements are slow and fluid, which makes it easy for those with osteoarthritis. You can find tai chi video tapes to practice the movements from home, or look for a tai chi class.

3. Yoga

Yoga is a great stretching exercise for people with osteoarthritis. It is low impact and many of the difficult poses can be modified for an easier exercise. Look for a yoga dvd that is designed for beginners or people with limited mobility. If you choose to go to a yoga class, inform your instructor on your medical condition.

4. Pilates

Pilates, like yoga, is a great low impact exercise. Pilates focuses on building core muscles, which can help you balance through the day. Strengthening muscles is a great activity for people with osteoarthritis.

5. Stationary Bike

The stationary bike is a comfortable way to get aerobic exercise. If sitting on a bicycle seat is too uncomfortable, choose a recumbent bike. Other good choices are the elliptical machine and the rowing machine.

6. Stretching

Stretching is a good form of exercise for people with limited mobility and sore joints. It gives you greater flexibility while slowly building muscles. Use stretching techniques to warm up before getting started on any other type of exercise.

7. Weight Training

Light free weights are a great option for people with osteoarthritis. Use a lighter weight with more repetitions rather than a heavy weight. You can also use a weight resistance machine. The key is to use proper form so that you don’t injure yourself.

8. Walking

Walking is a simple yet effective exercise. It is low impact but has amazing benefits. If walking is difficult for you, try using Nordic walking sticks. They will give you added balance and help ease the tension from your joints.

9. Dancing

Dancing is a simple exercise that you can do in your own home. It’s a fun activity that can be as slow or as exciting as you want. Turn on some music and show off your moves. Be careful to keep your movements safe, as it can be easy to get carried away.

10. Using A Personal Trainer

One of the best choices is to use a personal trainer. Look for one who is qualified to work with seniors and individuals with osteoarthritis. Even if it’s just one session, they can help you identify exercises to help you in the future.