Arthritis or osteoarthritis is a common chronic disorder of the joints and mainly affects older people. In healthy joints, cartilage covers the surface of the joint and helps to absorb shock and allows for smooth movement.
In arthritis; the cartilage breaks down, tearing the ends of the bone unprotected and the joint loses its ability to move smoothly. The most common joints affected by arthritis are hips, knees, big toes, spine and hands.
Although pain and functional limitations present challenges to physical activity among individuals with arthritis, regular exercise is essential for managing these conditions. Specifically, exercise reduces pain, maintains muscle strength around affected joints, reduces joint stiffness, prevents functional decline, and improves quality of life. Exercise can be effective in relieving symptoms as pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs, but has fewer side effects.
Research shows that exercise can help people with a wide range of arthritic severity and pain. It is important people with arthritis choose a type of exercise that they enjoy and that can be easily incorporated into their daily life. Exercise Right recommends aiming to exercise 4 to 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes.