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Managing Osteoarthritis Part Three

In Part One and Part Two, we looked at the symptoms of osteoarthritis and some common forms of pain management. In this instalment, we look at the ways exercise can assist with managing osteoarthritis.

Managing Osteoarthritis

In Part One and Part Two, we looked at the symptoms of osteoarthritis and some common forms of pain management. In this instalment, we look at the ways exercise can assist with managing osteoarthritis.

Exercise has numerous physical benefits for those experiencing osteoarthritis – building strength, reducing pain and maintaining a healthy weight. Additionally, exercise can also aid in managing the psychological aspects of osteoarthritis, by reducing anxiety, increasing self-esteem and boosting overall mood.

A common problem facing those with osteoarthritis is a reluctance to move the affected joint, due to fear of causing additional pain or injury. This is understandable – and many even be appropriate in some circumstances – but it is potentially problematic in the longer term. Reducing movement of the affected joint can actually cause the surrounding muscles to atrophy, which will eventually place greater strain on the joint and cause greater pain – so there’s never been a better time than now to get out and get moving.

(NB: Before undertaking any new exercise programme, make sure you consult with your doctor to assess your overall physical health and the suitability of an exercise programme. They may also recommend that you consult with a physiotherapist.)

Resistance training

Resistance training is primarily designed to strengthen your body’s muscles, and includes exercises such as weights, resistance bands, push-ups, squats and pull-ups.

With stronger muscles, your bones don’t have to do as much “heavy lifting” and pressure on the affected joint can be reduced – in turn, this can aid in pain relief while increasing your overall fitness level.

Low-impact exercises

Understandably, high impact exercise is not always advisable or even possible for those with osteoarthritis – but the good news is that there a number of low-impact options which can serve as effective alternatives. Cycling, aquarobics, pilates and yoga are all excellent ways of maintaining fitness without putting your body through excess strain.

Weight management

Weight management is a key component of osteoarthritis management. Being overweight or obese can have a negative effect on osteoarthritis symptoms, due to the increased pressure that excess weight places on the joints. So while it’s a good idea to keep your weight within a healthy range anyway, it’s especially important if you’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis.

Although regular exercise is an important element of weight management, it may also be helpful to speak to a dietitian to discuss any food-related issues that may have contributed to your weight gain.

In part four, we take a look at managing the mental health aspects of osteoarthritis. Visit Panadol’s website for more information on Panadol Osteo – specially formulated to help provide long-lasting relief from persistent pain.



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