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How does exercise help prevent arthritis?

Grant Cooper, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Exercise can help prevent arthritis by stretching and strengthening the structures surrounding the joints, as well as helping to keep the joints well nourished. In addition, exercise helps you lose weight, which is another way to reduce your risk for developing arthritis. Obesity also increases the pain and disability associated with arthritis, and the combination of obesity and arthritis are ingredients for a potentially devastating cycle.
The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

According to conventional wisdom, arthritis pain is an inevitable part of aging. Not so, says Dr. Grant Cooper in this practical, accessible guide. For those who do develop osteoarthritic conditions,...
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects joints. Two of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by degeneration of cartilage within joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is a degenerative joint disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissue.
 
The cartilage in joints get nourishment and lubrication through movement and pressure. This is the benefit exercise provides. If you have ever been casted or immobilized you may have noticed extreme stiffness after the removal of the cast. This is because the joint structures become malnourished, dry and unlubricated. Regular exercise prevents arthritis by keeping joint structures nourished and lubricated.  

Research has shown the exercise provided relief from arthritic symptoms and another demonstrated that a 4-week training regimen decreased muscle inhibition and increased muscle strength in patients with moderate muscle inhibition.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.