Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Those With Osteoarthritis Are Often Too Inactive

For years now health professionals have been advising those with osteoarthritis (OA) to stay active to avoid further stiffness and pain.  Even with these warnings a recent study in the journal, Arthritis and Rheumatism, found that only 10% of people with knee OA follow through with recommendations of physical activity. The researchers also found that many of the people in the study did not participate in any form of physical activity beyond their normal essential daily activities.  

Recent research has shown that physical activity can increase mobility, reduce pain, and prevent disability in those with OA.  Exercise has also shown many other health benefits including improving one's mood. 
The researchers in this most recent study placed accelerometers on over 1000 participants to analyze how much people moved throughout the day.  They took x-rays of all the participants and found that those with arthritis moved much less throughout the day when compared to those without OA.  Some may argue that maybe they did less movement because they were in pain.  This is an understandable argument since decades ago people with OA were told to rest but we now know that movement and exercise is more beneficial.   

So if you have ever been told by a healthcare professional that you have OA you should begin an exercise program.  Exercise programs should start with low-intensity exercises such as small walks or working around the house or yard.  Once acclimated to new activities you can increase to more vigorous exercise such as cycling or swimming.  "Although it seems counterintuitive to exercise a stiff and painful joint, the evidence shows that moving a joint today is one of the best ways to ensure that it will keep moving tomorrow."1

Be sure to visit your local physical therapist for an individualized exercise prescription in order to avoid injury.

Reference: http://arthritisselfmanagement.com

1 comment:

  1. Great post, I've had problems with physical therapy documentation
    in the past. Just make sure you have that under control when you go for your next session.