Resisting Osteorthritis With Resistance Training

Resistance exercises can be useful for people with osteoarthritis as it can strengthen the muscles around affected joints. For example, exercises that strengthen the quadriceps muscles can reduce pain and disability associated with knee osteoarthritis.

Resistance training also offers benefits in weight management and improvements in balance, flexibility, bone density, sleep patterns and self-confidence.

Types of resistance exercise include:

  • free weights – dumbbells
  • weight machines – where you are required to move weighted handles or levers
  • body weight –push-ups and squats
  • resistance bands – giant rubber bands that can provide isotonic resistance during workouts

Clinical studies have shown that all types of resistance exercise are effective in reducing pain and improving bone strength and joint function. Before starting any physical activity, make sure you talk to your doctor. Because technique is very important with resistance exercises, you should obtain advice from a professional such as a physiotherapist.

Here are some safety tips to remember:

  • spend five minutes on warm up exercises
  • build up your exercise routine gradually over time
  • don’t hold your breath; breathe out during the exertion phase
  • use only safe and well maintained equipment
  • control the weights at all times; don’t move them quickly or swing them

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