Is it better not to exercise if you have arthrosis?
Physical exercise, practiced by people suffering from osteoarthritis, improves the course of the disease, joint motility and, consequently, the quality of life.
Osteoarthritis, one of the main causes of chronic pain and disability in the elderly, affects about 17% of the population, with the highest prevalence being women and over 75 years of age.
It is erroneously thought that people with osteoarthritis should use the affected joints as little as possible. The risk, in this case, is that a vicious circle is created between arthritic pathology and sedentary lifestyle, with two main consequences: 1) a worsening of the pathology, and 2) an increased risk of developing other problems, such as cardiovascular ones. A correct lifestyle, characterized by a balanced diet and regular physical activity, is useful both for the prevention and for the treatment of chronic phase arthrosis. During acute attacks, on the other hand, rest and drug treatment should be preferred, after consulting a doctor.
The most suitable physical exercise is aerobic exercise at mild to moderate intensity such as swimming, water aerobics or cycling, all activities that reduce the load on the joints. Activities aimed at strengthening the muscles near the joints (gentle gymnastics, pilates, stretching or yoga) are also very useful. Furthermore, by reducing pain, it is possible to reduce the intake of drugs for the treatment of the disease. Even in overweight or obese people, whose arthritic disease is aggravated by excess weight, regular physical activity helps the weight loss process. to reduce joint overload.
Before starting a physical activity, however, it is always necessary to consult your doctor for advice on the modalities and type of activity based on your condition.
1. Ministry of Health. Arthrosis
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Osteoarthritis