Exercises for Osteoarthritis
(degenerative inflammation of the joint)
I would like to share with you opinions from a renowned physiotherapist on exercises. In an open forum of clinical guidelines for managing osteoarthritis (degenerative inflammation of the joint) in Hong Kong primary setting, Adjunct Assistant Professor Arran Leung of the Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion at the Chinese University of Hong Kong discussed non-pharmacological (without medication) treatment of osteoarthritis. He opened his discussion by reiterating the importance of patient education as an essential intervention for patients with chronic (long-standing) disease. He highlighted that education programs have been shown to be effective in reducing pain and disability, along with increasing coping skills of patients with osteoarthritis. Muscle weakness, loss of motion and pain are common symptoms around the involved joint of these patients. Professor Leung described how exercise programs could actively control these symptoms:
- Reduced impairment and improved function can be gained via reduction of joint pain, increases in range of motion and strength, normalization of gait and facilitation of the performance of daily activities
- Exercise programs can assist in protecting the joint from damage by reducing stress on the joint, attenuating joint forces and improving biomechanics (normal movements)
- By increasing the daily level of physical activity and improving physical fitness, exercise can help prevent disability and poor health secondary to inactivity.