Exercise and Osteoarthritis

Overview

Using different types of exercise and activity may be best for arthritis. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which exercises may be best for you and safest. You may need to change or modify activities based on your symptoms.

Aerobic activity.

It makes your heart and lungs stronger and builds your endurance. Examples include walking, swimming, water aerobics, and biking.

Strength exercises.

These exercises can make muscles around a joint stronger and help protect and reduce stress on your joints. For example, stronger thigh muscles can help reduce stress on your knees and hips. Examples of strength exercises include lifting light weights or dumbbells, using elastic tubing, and using an exercise machine or weight machines.

Range-of-motion exercises.

They help keep you flexible and can help prevent stiffness, injury, and more damage to your joints. Examples include moving each joint as far as you can without causing pain and doing long, slow stretches.

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