Joint Pain Forum – News you can use!
Prevention of Arthritis is Better Than Cure
July 3, 2007
W. Griffith, MD
An Australian study,
published in Arthritis Research and Therapy, has shown the benefits of
exercise in reducing or preventing the pain of osteoarthritis. Two
groups of women, one aged 48-55 years and one 72-79 years, and who were
free of joint pain, were entered in the study. Mailed questionnaires
were used to obtain information on the amount of physical activity
being done and the onset of symptoms suggestive of osteoarthritis
(stiff or painful joints) over the 3 years of the study. Physical
activity was categorized as either 'none', 'low' (one hour 15 minutes
moderate activity weekly), 'moderate' (2½ hours activity weekly), and
'high' (over 2½ hours weekly).
In the older group of women, those who did low amounts of physical
activity lowered their chances of developing frequent arthritis
symptoms by 28%. Those who did a moderate amount lowered their risk by
46%, and those who exercised a lot lowered their risk by 39%. The
beneficial effects of exercise were less in the younger women, although
the reasons for this are not clear.
does exercise help older people in this respect? Maybe exercise has
a direct effect on the joints. Other possibilities include weight loss
induced by exercise, lessening the burden on the joint surfaces, and
the known fact that exercise may reduce the sensitivity of pain
The choice of arthritis-directed exercise
for seniors is wide. Walking, swimming, gardening, yoga, tai chi, and
resistance training are all popular and will all result in health
benefits, even if they aren't specific for arthritis.
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