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Exercise and Osteoarthritis - Topic Overview

A regular exercise program is an important part of anyone's lifestyle. If you have osteoarthritis, check with your health professional before beginning or continuing any exercise so that you can determine whether it is safe and effective for osteoarthritic joints.

Stretching exercises will help prevent the stiffness associated with osteoarthritis and help prevent injury. Strengthening muscles and ligaments makes arthritic joints stronger and reduces stress on the joint. Stronger thigh muscles, for example, take some of the stress off of weight-bearing joints such as knees and hips. Simple exercise, such as walking, can significantly decrease knee pain.

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Caring for Your Joints at Home

Just as the tread on your tires wears away over time, the cartilage that cushions your joints can wear away, too. It's a condition known as osteoarthritis. And without enough cushioning, the bones of a joint will hurt when they rub against each other. Frayed cartilage can't heal or grow back. "There's no way to reverse the arthritis once it has started," says Michaela M. Schneiderbauer, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. But there are ways to reduce the...

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A physical therapist sometimes is needed to help a person with damaged joints or joint replacement learn the best exercise for his or her particular condition.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: April 08, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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