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Exercising with Osteoarthritis

If you are affected by OA and worry that exercising could make your joints worse there is good news. Regular exercise can help decrease secondary effects of Osteoarthritis (OA).

Low impact exercises that include range of motion, strength training and aerobic exercises are good examples to start with.

According to WebMD here are samples of Strengthening Exercises for Osteoarthritis Choose a weight that will allow 12 to 15 repetitions.

  • Biceps curls: Begin with arms straight at your sides, bring one dumbbell up to your shoulder bending at the elbow . Return to starting position and repeat with opposite arm.

  • Triceps extensions: Hold a weight overhead that you can safely manage using both hands. Lower the weight behind your head, keeping the elbows pointed upward. (Make sure you clear the back of your head and neck.) Raise the weight overhead again. Return and repeat.

  • Side lateral raises: Start with your arms straight at your sides, raise arms (slightly bent) to shoulder level. Lower to starting position and repeat.

  • Wall push-up: This is a great beginner exercise if you are not able to do a regular push-up. Stand with feet about 12 inches away from the surface(wall). Hands are a little wider that shoulder width apart. Lower your chest to the wall, then push back to the starting position.

Aerobic exercise is also good for OA. 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day (example...walking, swimming, household activities) can help increase strength and may benefit movement.

According to an article written by the arthritis foundation there are multiple studies show that mild to moderate exercise is beneficial for people with arthritis. However it is recommended to discuss exercise with your doctor or physical therapist before starting an exercise program. A physical therapist can help you design an exercise plan that is best for you.

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