Welcome to M.V Hospital for Diabetes, established by late Prof. M.Viswanathan, Doyen of Diabetology in India in 1954 as a general hospital. In 1971 it became a hospital exclusively for Diabetes care. It has, at present,100 beds for the treatment of diabetes and its complications.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Osteoarthritis Exercise Treatment

Osteoarthritis is a common cause of pain and disability in the aging population.   At one time it was thought that rest was best. However research and evidence-based medicine have shown  many benefits of exercise.

The most common type of arthritis is called osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. It affects us as we age, particularly along the weight bearing joints such as the knees and hips.  Normally, cartilage acts as a cushion to protect joints from wear and tear.  This cartilage can break or become frayed and at times  there are areas where there is little or no cartilage left at all.  When it becomes severe enough, the bones can come into contact with one another.  This process can result in many things including pain, a change in shape of the joint and extra bone formation.   All of these changes can affect normal physical activity.

As shown below, pain results in decreased activity, which leads to muscle weakness and a decrease in the normal motion of the joint, which further results in joint deformity and loss of function.  Exercise, when done properly is an excellent way to break this cycle, or perhaps to prevent or delay this cycle from occurring in the first place. 


The aim of exercise is to reduce pain, improve function, and prevent disability thereby improving the quality of life.                                                                 Muscle Strengthening:

It has been shown that weak quadriceps muscles are common in people experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis at the knee. In addition, studies have shown that when these patients strengthen their quadriceps muscles significant improvements in pain and function are seen when compared with those who did not strengthen these muscles.


Improving Flexibility and Joint Motion:

When people do not use their muscles, not only do the muscles become weak, but they can also change shape and shorten to the point where they limit normal movement and result in visible joint deformities . Flexibility exercises take the joint through its normal range of motion  and also relieve tightness in muscles/tendons through  stretching. 

                                                          Improve Aerobic Functioning:


Limited activities due to pain and restriction of movement can affect cardiovascular fitnessSo people with osteoarthritis  must find ways to maintain cardiovascular fitness through aerobic exercises such as walking or cycling. 

Weight Loss:
Proper exercise results in weight loss which helps to decrease symptoms in patients who have osteoarthritis. 

Types of Exercise:
          Your doctor and physiotherapist will  recommend   the right combination of aerobic exercise, muscle strengthening and flexibility taking into view your limitations and any medical conditions that may be affected by an increase in physical activity.

              Aerobic exercise strives to improve cardiovascular function through activities  such as walking, jogging, biking, swimming and rowing, that increase the heart rate   Proper breathing techniques, sufficient hydration and nutrition, and current  cardiovascular status should be taken into consideration.

In general 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week with a  warm up, a workout and a cool down is recommended .  People with sedentary lifestyle should minimize time spend less time sitting throughout the day and do simple  activities such as  parking the car a little further away, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or taking many short walks throughout the day. 

Muscle Strengthening:

Here are some examples of exercises specifically for the legs good for those with osteoarthritis of the knee and or hips. 

 Flexibility Training:

Static stretching is what most people are familiar with and most often recommended by doctors.  It involves stretching the muscle slowly and holding it in that position for 10 to 30 seconds.  The key is that it should be pain free without any abrupt, jerky, or bouncing movements.
            There are other methods of improving flexibility that involve whole body training and working with breathing exercises.  Activities such as tai chi and yoga are excellent ways to improve your flexibility with the added benefit of a total body workout and relaxation.  Here are a few examples of stretching exercises.


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