An Overview Of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes joints to degenerate. This happens when the cartilage that protects the bone ends wears and tears. Physical therapy exercises are important for people with osteoarthritis regardless of any other medical or surgical treatment. Physical inactivity makes osteoarthritis worse and causes the joint to become stiffer.

The significance of exercise

Extreme physical activity is not advised if one has osteoarthritis, rather choose gentle exercises. The aim of exercising is to lessen the pain and stiffness. Physical therapy helps to strengthen muscles and bones, enhances flexibility and balance, and improves the overall quality of life. Exercising helps to improve mood and energy throughout the day. Before starting any physical activity, consult with the healthcare provider or request advice on recommended exercises.

Types of physical therapy

The types of exercises are divided into different categories such as flexibility exercises, strength exercises, and aerobics. Each category of physical activity has a purpose and comprises various types of exercises. The flexibility exercises decrease stiffness and include inner leg, hip, and lower back stretches, as well as hip rotations. The strengthening activities help to keep muscles and joints strong and some exercises include hip extensions and chair stands. Mild aerobic exercises aid in enhancing the overall function and these include aerobic exercises such as swimming, walking, and cycling.

More types of physical exercises

Many other physical activities can help in strengthening the joints. Some of these exercises include wall push-ups, bicep curls, triceps extensions, and side lateral raises. Other aerobic exercises such as tai chi, yoga, and water aerobics help to make the joints robust. One may even consider household activities such as mowing the lawn or vacuuming to keep the joints and muscles strong. Doing any type of physical therapy every day for at least 30 minutes can improve osteoarthritis.

How to be cautious

Always do any physical activity in moderation and do not exercise strenuously. If there is any pain after or during exercising, take a break. Taking a 1- or 2-day break is usually sufficient. Osteoarthritis becomes worse when physical activity is completely halted. Speak to the healthcare provider if there is any extreme pain or swelling that is concerning.

Ways to protect joints

Besides doing physical therapy at a slow pace, there are other ways to protect the joints. Some other ways include applying heat to reduce pain and applying cold compression to lessen swelling. If one is obese, consider losing weight as too much weight on the knees can affect the joints. Avoiding high heels helps to reduce the stress on the knees and protects the joints. Along with physical therapy, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial for the improvement of osteoarthritis.