Advertisement

What exercises can strengthen my joints and prevent arthritis?

Dr. Maoshing Ni, PhD, LAc
Geriatric Medicine Specialist

Gentle on the joints, tai chi and qigong exercises improve overall flexibility and strengthen the joints. In my clinic, I teach a simple 30-minute daily practice called Eight Treasures qigong, which has been passed down through my family. It has been clinically shown to strengthen bones and joints and prevent arthritis. Best of all, it is far less stressful and strenuous than other types of physical exercise, and particularly emphasizes stretching and the strengthening of joints, tendons and muscles. Most licensed practitioners of Chinese medicine are able to teach some form of qigong and tai chi exercises, or you can learn from an instructional DVD.

Dr. Grant Cooper, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist

Anyone can benefit from strength training, and everyone, to some extent, should include it in her exercise routine. When done in conjunction with stretching and aerobic exercise, it will improve your mobility, decrease pain and help prevent worsening of arthritis symptoms. The kind of strength training you should do to treat and prevent arthritis is somewhat different than the kind that adds muscle bulk.

Arthritis involves the loss of some of the cushioning effects of cartilage in a joint. The joint may be painful, swollen and need protection. Strong, flexible muscles help protect the joints. By being well-toned, the muscles that surround a joint provide a buffer, so the ligaments, bones and joint capsule don't have to absorb all of the forces acting on it.

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

More About this Book

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,...

Continue Learning about Arthritis Prevention

How does exercise help prevent arthritis?
Grant Cooper, MDGrant Cooper, MD
Exercise can help prevent arthritis by stretching and strengthening the structures surrounding the j...
More Answers
Can arthritis be prevented?
Dr. Kelly TraverDr. Kelly Traver
The best way to prevent arthritis is to avoid being overweight, since that puts stress on the joints...
More Answers
What Are the Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis?
What Are the Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis?
What Is the Difference Between Psoriatic and Rheumatoid Arthritis?
What Is the Difference Between Psoriatic and Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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.