Introduction to osteoarthritis and exercise

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. It affects more Canadians than all other forms of arthritis combined. While there currently is no cure for OA, there are actions you can take to help manage your symptoms and protect your joints.

An increasing amount of research supports the effectiveness of activity and exercise as a self-management strategy for OA as well as many other chronic diseases. Exercise and activity ARE the magic pills. Activity and exercise can help feed your joints. They can also help to relieve stiffness, improve strength & energy, limit loss of muscle strength, help you manage your weight to reduce the load on joints, as well as provide a mood boost.

In this video, Advanced Practice Physiotherapist Suzanne Denis provides an overview of osteoarthritis and how exercise and physical activity can help. She explains the difference between physical activity and exercise, outlines some basic exercise principles, addresses common barriers to getting active, as well as provides tips to help you get started. You may also want to visit our Exercises for Osteoarthritis of the Hip & Knee video, as well as our Exercises for Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder video.

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