Exercises for Osteoarthritis : why are they not used more?

Exercises for Osteoarthritis

Exercises for osteoarthritis are effective but Doctors rarely prescribe them.

I know I keep going on about this but I see the results every day from satisfied clients.

Exercises for osteoarthritis work so why are they not utilised? They are simple to prescribe, easy to do and have no risks or side effects but Doctors don’t use them.

Why not?

I simply don’t understand it!

At least my thoughts are now backed by some decent research about exercises for osteoarthritis which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. They conclude:

Clinical evidence that exercise is effective for lower limb osteoarthritis has existed for over a decade yet it remains underutilised. Comprehensive programmes containing strengthening, flexibility exercise and aerobic exercise provide the greatest probability of benefit.

Why do Exercises for Osteoarthritis Help?

When a joint is worn it doesn’t function well. This means the muscles, tendons and ligaments (the soft tissue) around the joint have to work harder. This irritates them and so they become inflamed and painful.

Exercises for osteoarthritis helps the soft tissue. By making the soft tissue around the joint more comfortable you will be able to do more with less pain.

You must realise they do not help the actual wear and tear so they will not get rid of ALL the pain. It will depend how much pain is coming from the actual joint and how much is coming from the soft tissue.

As a general rule of thumb people with mild OA will get better pain relief than those with severe so those with mild may get up to 90% pain relief while those with severe may get 50%.

It is rare there is not some improvement both in the level of pain and in the ability to do more with less pain.

What Types of Exercises Should You Do?

As the research says you should do three types:

1. Flexibility Exercises- to increase the length of the muscles and tendons and help start to stretch tight ligaments. They improve flexibility and mobility.

2. Strengthening Exercises– these are exercises that strengthen the muscles and tendon but don’t move the joint and irritate your worn joint surface. They help mainly with with the scaffolding effect but also improve the muscle stamina so the muscles do not get irritated as quickly. They allow you to do more without pain.

3. Aerobic Exercises– these are strengthening exercises that move the joint as you progress. They will continue the strengthening but as the joint is moved they will also help the cartilage inside the joint. Cartilage has no blood supply and so gets nutrients from the thick, viscous fluid inside the joints (synovial fluid) and moving the joint helps ‘feed’ the cartilage.

All these three types of exercises must be done to get maximum benefit.

Don’t Just Jump into an Exercise Program

It is important your exercise program is designed for you and how your osteoarthritis effects you. Please do not get generic DVDs or grab some exercises off YouTube, even if they say they are suitable for people with OA.

You need to know how many of each exercise to do and you need a program that starts slowly and builds up over a period of time. It should then drop off again to a maintenance level to keep the soft tissue comfortable. After all you haven’t cured the OA but generally if you do 20 minutes 3 times a week of a targeted program you will keep your symptoms at bay in the long term.

Get an Exercise Program Without Breaking the Bank

In my books How to Treat Osteoarthritis Naturally there are 3 comprehensive exercise programs. There is also a questionnaire which tell you which of these programs you should follow. All the exercises are designed to be done in the comfort of your own home with no specialist equipment is needed.

All you need to do is click on this link to get your exercises for osteoarthritis for under $20.

Plus, of course, you will learn lifestyle changes, which supplements you should use (if any!), how to massage your effected joint, using heat and cold packs for when you do get pain and stiffness.

It is probably cheaper than going to your Doctor who as you now know won’t prescribe you the most effective and safest treatment for your osteoarthritis- EXERCISES!

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