Osteoarthritis - Benefits of Exercise

Cartilage needs moderate load through physical activity to regenerate itself. The articular cartilage (cartilage that covers the bones) contains no blood vessels. In order for it to receive nutrients it requires a process of dynamic loading (exercise). The cycle of loading and unloading the joint promotes the exchange of nutrients, similar to that of a sponge where fluid is drawn in and out. This promotes growth and strength. 

Physio for OA

The cartilage works a lot like a sponge. You need to squeeze a sponge to move water through it and stop it becoming dry and brittle. Similarly, load (exercise) squeezing our cartilage is required to move nutrients around the knee to keep it healthy. 
 

Benefits:

  • Increases strength of the surrounding muscles and bones to reduce the load and stabilse the affected joint.

  • Pain relief. The release of endorphins results in less pain and increased feelings of well being

  • Exercise moves your joints through their range of motion, which will make it easier to do everyday activities, such as putting on shoes and socks. 

  • Weight control 
     

Exercise Recommendation 

  • Everyone, regardless of injury, illness or age should aim to be physically active for 30 minutes a day.
  • These 30 minutes can be done in 10 minute bouts. At least twice a week, these bouts should be 20 minutes long and either maintain or increase in intensity.
  • These activities should be slightly difficult and be done on top of your normal everyday activities. This is needed to maintain good health and prevent diseases (e.g. diabetes, certain types of cancer, high blood pressure among others).

These recommendations apply to people with osteoarthritis. The ideal type and amount of exercise depends on the person’s age, abilities, functional limitations, and health status. If you have not been physically active in the past, it may be a good idea to start slowly. See how you feel, and then gently increase the intensity.


If you are struggling with exercise ideas, just get in touch and one of our physios at Active Answers in Seaforth we will be able to steer you in the right direction. 

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The GLAD program is designed to increase strength and reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis. Have read to see if this may help you out. 

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Previously Known as Appleby Physiotherapy 

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