What type of exercise can I do if I have osteoarthritis?

Consistent exercise is good for joints, even though it may cause some occasional muscle or joint pain. If you have pain that lasts more than a couple hours, reduce the intensity of your workout or take a day off. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which activities are best for you.

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Some people may not want to exercise or even walk because of their osteoarthritis pain, stiffness or swelling. But getting those symptoms under control by seeing a doctor and taking anti-inflammatory medicine can help get you moving. And when you do, exercising can help you feel better and may help slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

If you have osteoarthritis, your doctor may advise you to avoid running and instead engage in other lower-impact activities. These include:

  • swimming
  • water aerobics
  • walking (outside or on a treadmill)
  • using an elliptical machine

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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.