Osteoarthritis is the most common type of joint inflammation. It affects most people as they age. The affected joints undergo gradual mechanical wearing, which causes irritation and inflammation resulting in progressive stiffening of those joints, weakening of the muscles and increasing pain. Eventually, the pain and dysfunction might become so severe that it leads to joint replacement surgery.
The good news is that this progression can be slowed, stopped and even reversed by exercise. You may think that loading a sore joint with exercise will make it worse. In fact, all the research has shown that exercise will have a beneficial effect on joint function and reduction of pain.
In a normally functioning joint, most of the impact across the joint surface is absorbed by the muscles surrounding that joint. Therefore, it is very important that your muscles are strong enough and functioning properly to absorb the impact and protect the joint surface from further damage. Exercise will also increase blood flow bringing oxygen and nutrients to the joint and surrounding structures.
Muscle fatigue, weakness or poor co-ordination can also add to further joint stress. To optimise joint health and function you need to make sure the joint has as much range of motion as possible and that the muscles are strong enough to protect the joint surface. Even if you already have a stiff and sore joint it will respond to exercise.
We can help to guide you through a safe and effective exercise program to help you with your arthritic joints.