Osteoarthritis Info from WS Holistic Health

The Warm Springs Holistic Health Center provides physical therapy and acupuncture care in Warm Springs with a focus on compassion, integrity, and full-body wellness.  You can contact them at 54-777-2663.  They have been writing up articles about different issues you may have with suggestions about how to heal and feel better.

Osteoarthritis is a common chronic condition that can lead to joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. It occurs when the cartilage that covers joint surfaces begins to break down, reducing the cushion between the bones. This can lead to difficulties with movement and decreased activity tolerance.

While some may worry about movement making their pain worse, research has shown that exercise is the most effective non drug/surgical option for reducing symptoms of Osteoarthritis.

Exercises that can help with Osteoarthritis:

  • Aquatics: Exercises in the water go far beyond swimming. Other options include walking against current, water aerobics, strength training, or balance. Several exercises that are performed on land can be modified for the pool. The benefit of exercising in water is that the force of buoyancy reduces the pressure of body weight on the joints by making you feel lighter. This allows individuals to have a better tolerance to exercise with less pain.

  • Aerobic exercise: Aerobic exercise helps to strengthen the heart and lungs, control weight gain, and improve endurance. Individuals with osteoarthritis can benefit from aerobic exercises that have low impact on the joints. Examples include riding a bike or running on an elliptical machine. These exercises should be performed 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

  • Strengthening: Strength training is an important component of exercise programs for individuals with osteoarthritis. Strong muscles can help to offload and support affected joints. This helps to reduce pain and improve tolerance to daily activities. Strengthening exercises should be performed at least twice a week.

  • Range of Motion: Stiffness is a common complaint associated with osteoarthritis. This often happens when the joint is in a single position for a prolonged period of time. An example would be sitting at a desk for multiple hours through the work day. Gentle stretching and movement exercises can help to reduce discomfort, improve flexibility, and ease transitions between lying down, sitting, and standing.

If you have additional questions about Osteoarthritis and the benefits of exercise, feel free to contact the Physical Therapy team at Warm Springs Holistic Health for more information. We are also accepting new patients on a referral basis.


Alicia Oberholzer PT, DPT, OCS

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