Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It affects ten per cent of Canadians over age 15, and in some people, it can lead to significant disability. It occurs when the protective cartilage that covers the ends of your bones wears down over time, and can cause stiffness, pain and swelling.
Everyone’s arthritis behaves differently, but for many people, exercising the joints daily reduces reduces the severity of symptoms. Consistent movement gets your blood flowing, helps with stiffness and improves flexibility.
It may seem intimidating to begin exercising when your joints are in pain, but overtime these habits can be a big help.
In the video below, Stephen Patton, an advanced physiotherapist practitioner at Hamilton Health Sciences, shares simple exercises for your hips, knees and hands. Follow along and try them out!
If you’re able, attempt ten repetitions of these exercises three times each day. Stop if an exercise feels painful or too challenging.
Strengthening the muscles around your joints can help provide support to the joint and reduce arthritis pain. Gentle exercises like Tai Chi or water fitness are great examples.
Balancing physical activity with rest is important to managing your arthritis. Talk to your health care provider about what might work for you.