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osteoarthritis


YOUR CONDITION Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease of the joint cartilage which can cause changes in the underlying bone. This may cause pain and reduce mobility of the affected joints. OA is the result of aging and general wear but can also result from chronic sports injuries..


Exercise can improve the strength in the muscles around your joints and this helps support the affected joint and reduce symptoms. It also helps reduce the risk of other causes of ill health. It is sensible to talk to a doctor or therapist about which exercise is best for you. Be careful not to over-exercise as this may cause increased pain. Correct exercise has been proven to help reduce pain and increase quality of life.


YOUR REHABILITATION PROGRAMME This programme has specific exercises to help stretch and strengthen muscles which may be weak. During acute attacks, rest will help by decreasing inflammation but you may also experience increased stiffness. When performing the following exercises there should be no pain but try to work the muscles as hard as you can. If the exercises cause pain and swelling then allow a period of time (1-2 days) for the irritation to settle. All exercises should be performed gently, slowly and little and often.


WARM UP AND COOL DOWN If muscles are tight, weak or injured, it is particularly important to warm up (unless advised otherwise by your practitioner) with a gentle pain-free walk for 3-4 minutes before you start your exercises. This increases your circulation and helps prepare the muscles for the activity to come. When you have finished your exercises, end the session with a 3-4 minute gentle walk to allow your heart rate to slow down gradually. Make sure to perform all the exercises on this leaflet on both legs so you maintain equal strength in both limbs.


Articular (joint cartilage (red shaded area)


Meniscus (another type of cartilage)


Diagram showing the knee joint


ADDITIONAL EXERCISES It is also a good idea to try and include exercises like swimming, cycling or walking if possible for about 30 minutes 4-5 times a week. This will help you reduce the risk of various illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


OTHER THERAPIES WHICH MAY HELP n Cold therapies may relieve pain. Use a cold pack (a bag of ice or frozen vegetables wrapped in a damp towel) if a joint is particularly painful.


n Exercising in a warm bath or heated pool may also help. n Other types of physical therapy such as massage and electrical nerve stimulation may also help relieve joint stiffness and pain.


HOME EXERCISE PRODUCTS


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All products are accompanied by video demonstrations online. For other products visit the PhysioSupplies website http://spxj.nl/ykRdi5


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Hand Weights http://spxj.nl/xHElIQ Home Fitness http://spxj.nl/wxL1ae Orthopaedic Supports http://spxj.nl/y2aePC


The information contained in this article is intended as general guidance and information only and should not be relied upon as a basis for planning individual medical care or as a substitute for specialist medical advice in each individual case. To the extent permissible by law, the publisher, editors and contributors accept no liability for any loss, injury or damage howsoever incurred (including negligence) as a consequence, whether directly or indirectly, of the use by any person of the contents of this article.


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