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12 Jan 2006

Osteo arthritis & excersice
Have joined a gym - 1st time in years. Very unfit with hardly any muscle tone. I do have arthritis & are afraid that I may cause more harm that good when I excersise. Knees get painfull if I bend too much or put pressure on same. What excersises do you suggest
Answer 504 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Erica

Exercise is very good for you, particularly when you have arthritis and are prone to osteoporosis. Two types of exercises are important for building and maintaining bone mass and density: weight-bearing and resistance exercises.

(1) Weight-bearing exercises are those in which your bones and muscles work against gravity. This is any exercise in which your feet and legs are bearing your weight. Jogging, walking, stair climbing, dancing and soccer are examples of weight-bearing exercise with different degrees of impact. Swimming and bicycling are not weight bearing. In your case, it may be better to stick with walking, but only up to the point at which you start to feel pain. Other than this, you should first aim to adress muscle tone by doing things like cycling and swimming. As you get stronger, you may be able to walk and even jog a little more.

(2) The second type of exercises is resistance exercises or activities that use muscular strength to improve muscle mass and strengthen bone. These activities include weight lifting, such as using free weights and weight machines found at gyms and health clubs. I would suggest that you try to do these, just don't overdo it or you will cause the same pain. Howver, some weight training will be beneficial.

Finally, let pain be your guide. Take a day off for every day of exercise, rest well in between and just generally err on the side of caution. Anything you do will help if you have been inactive before, so don't rush. You make progress all the time, so set little goals and I'm sure it will be manageable.

Good luck
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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