Osteoarthritis – OA

Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that is believed to result from long term wear and tear on the synovial joints. A history of joint trauma, including sprains, dislocations, strains and fractures are risk factors for OA. Obesity is also a risk factor. It is more common in older people, usually over 40, but can also occur in younger people.

Osteoarthritis develops as a result of damage to the cartilage within the joints. Over time the cartilage wears, becomes brittle and fragments which may result in bone on bone contact and development of bone spurs. This causes joint stiffness and pain and may cause joint swelling, tenderness or enlargement/deformity of the joints. Joint stiffness may cause difficulty with initiating movement or a loss in range of movement. Stiffness may be present as joint movement begins but dissipates usually within 30 minutes.

Common areas for OA to develop are the lower spine, cervical spine, shoulder, hands, wrists knees and feet.

Did you know that exercise is good for OA and is actually recommended? It is. Exercise can help to reduce pain, improve joint stability and movement, improve muscle strength and balance. Exercise has other benefits too like helping you to sleep, improve your general health, improve your ability to carry out daily tasks, assist with weight loss and improve mood by the release of endorphins which also decrease the feelings of pain. Who knew exercise could be so good for you, right?

People with OA are recommended to undertake strength and aerobic exercise. Strength exercise aims to improve the strength of lower body muscles that have become weak due to lack of movement. Aerobic exercise will help you sleep as well as burning energy to help you lose weight which in turn may help to reduce the pressure on OA joints. If you have sever OA or are overweight then water based exercise may be a great initial starting point as the water helps to take pressure off the joints.

So if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed about where to start your exercise program for your OA contact us by completing your details at the bottom of the page. Wishing you the best in health.