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The Best Exercises for Osteoarthritis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that over 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis. This disease can make exercising very painful, but exercise is critical to slowing its progression. However, doing the wrong exercises can further damage your joints.  Continue reading as we dive into some of the safest and most comfortable exercises for osteoarthritis.

Simple Warm-Ups

Warming up before your workout is a critical step that should never be skipped. Simply taking a few minutes to do warm-ups before your workout will help increase the blood flow to your joints and muscles. Some examples of these simple warm-ups include partial bodyweight squats, arm circles, cycling, light cardio, walking, and more.

Isometric Exercises

Isometric exercises are best for your specific joints that make nearly every movement feel painful. These exercises involve holding one position for a period of time, rather than moving side to side or up and down. Isometric exercises allow you to strengthen only the muscles involved in the positions that you hold. Because of this, it’s important to hold each exercise in several different positions if you are able to. For example, if you’re doing lunges, try holding that position for 30 seconds near the bottom of your comfortable range of motion and then for 30 more seconds near the top.

Using Your Full Range of Motion

Your joints will not be able to move freely if they are not used regularly. However, be careful not to force your body to do things that it’s not comfortable with. For instance, if you can perform very low squats, but they hurt your hips or knees, you may want to try a shorter range of motion and squat only as low as you can go without pain.

Short and Constant Exercises

Adding brief activity sessions continuously throughout your day is a wonderful way to implement exercise into your routine and spend less time sitting. With osteoarthritis patients specifically, this can be very helpful in making sure that your joints aren’t overstressed when you do exercise. Any movement can be counted towards your daily activity goals, no matter how brief it is. A healthy exercise goal for someone with osteoarthritis is 150 cumulative minutes per week of exercise that’s moderate in intensity, or 75 minutes per week of exercise that’s vigorous in intensity. 

Workouts With Low Impact

Exercises that involve jumping and running are considered high-impact. While these exercises can strengthen your joints and bones, they aren’t meant for people with osteoarthritis. Lower impact exercises are ideal for those with joint disease and include things like strength training, swimming, and cycling–basically anything where your feet always stay planted on the floor.

To effectively manage your osteoarthritis, you will need a combination treatment plan. Combining these exercises with expert advice from a chiropractic professional at Independence Wellness & Pulse Center and Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) is the best way to improve your bone density. PEMF is a revolutionary treatment that has been clinically proven to accelerate bone growth and repair, enhance bone mineralization, and repair cartilage. Request an appointment today!

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