Working Out With Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is when articular cartilage, the cartilage that covers the bone at a joint and acts like a cushion Osteoarthritis-of-Knee-Jointand helps it glide through movement, wears down and/or is damaged, it leaves the joint with bone grinding against bone. This can cause pain, swelling and problems moving the joint. This is osteoarthritis. There are many of us that will experience osteoarthritis as we get older. It is a degenerative condition that can be caused or made worse by aging, injury, or pressure from excess body weight. Needless to say, when our joints hurt, we move less. That used to be the recommendation from the medical community as well. If it hurts to do something, then don’t do it. Unfortunately, that’s not what current research shows. The less we move the joint, the weaker the surrounding muscles become and, the weaker they become, the more stress is on the joint. This ongoing stress only makes the pain and discomfort worse.


In general, we all know that we should be exercising. You should be exercising your whole body in general, and particularly the effect joint(s). The current guideline is to gradually build your strength routine until you are working the effected joint(s) as hard as you can tolerate, through as great a range of motion as you can tolerate. This helps maximize the strength gains and maintain your joint flexibility.

Another benefit to exercising with osteoarthritis is that exercise helps to control weight. Excess body weight adds pressure to the joints and can create and/or accelerate joint damage.

Exercising may be the last thing you want to do when your joints are stiff and achy. But it’s crucial for easing pain and staying active.Harvard Health Publications. Osteoarthritis doesn’t need to be a sentence to an inactive lifestyle. Find guidance from a health and fitness professional who can create a gradually progressive program that is appropriate for your individual needs, and you can lessen the pain and discomfort that osteoarthritis causes you.

Aging and Flexibility

Flexibility, as with any aspect of fitness, if you don’t use it, you lose it. And, as we age we tend to challenge our full range of motion less and less which allows our muscles, tendons, and fascia to tighten. Our decrease in going through full ranges of motion may stem from injuries, arthritis, or simply becoming more sedentary.


“You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there.” – George Burns

If an injury has got you moving less, get it checked out by your doctor. Do what you need to get it fixed or let it heal, then gradually stretch the area to regain any lost mobility.

Arthritis, and the pain associated with it, can definitely cause us to move less and through smaller ranges of motion. The guidelines, however, whether it’s rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, are to exercise through as full a range of motion as is tolerable. This includes working through pain. Contrary to what many people believe, a well-designed and performed exercise program will not make the arthritis worse. The result is actually less pain overall and greater strength, stability, flexibility and function of the joint.

Loss of mobility from being sedentary is common because many people are less active as they get older. It’s lost over time and it will take time to regain it, but you can regain it with work.

So, when it comes to aging and loss of flexibility, know that with some stretching and strengthening, you can improve what you have lost and possibly regain it all.