Osteoarthritis (OA) can be a debilitating condition associated with joint pain, stiffness, limited movement, and crepitus (noisy knees), which can unfortunately often lead to a decline in functional ability and in quality of life.
However, the phrase ‘Wear and Tear’ does not accurately describe what is going on here.
Your knee is not like a shoe, where the more you use it, the more it wears down and out.
Instead, it’s like a shoe that gets stronger each time you use, repairing itself and becoming tougher and better prepared for the next day’s work.
Exercise helps our body, muscles and joints to adapt and grow stronger, to be better prepared to handle the demands of life.
Recent systematic reviews of research conclude that exercise therapy has positive benefits for people with OA with regards to their pain, function, mood and quality of life.
A programme consisting of a combination of strength, flexibility, and aerobic exercises is more beneficial for pain and disability than general activity alone (i.e. walking).
Exercise was found to be the most effective form of non-surgical treatment for OA, more effective than pain medications and various injections.
Understandably, if you are living with OA, you may be nervous about starting an exercise programme, for fear of aggravating your condition. However, a supervised exercise and education programme specifically tailored to your abilities and needs can be very effective at guiding you through the process, helping to improve your confidence and ability to exercise safely and effectively.
So let’s reserve the ‘Wear and Tear’ for our shoes, and let’s instead Exercise for Repair.