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5 Ways to Manage Osteoarthritis

Running Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of disability, affecting over 250 million people globally. The condition affects joints in the hip and knee and can develop from previous joint trauma, old age, obesity, and female sex. With the risk of developing osteoarthritis increasing in age, here are five ways you can manage the condition:

Neuromuscular Exercise

Doing regular exercise has an analgesic effect on the knee, both in the short- and long-term. The exact kind of exercise that affect pain sensitization and intensity remains unknown. In a research review by Todd Hargrove, it was found that non-strength exercise improved pain at rest and during function. Therefore, neuromuscular exercise can be used as a potential therapy for knee OA even though strength training provides greater improvement in pressure pain and tolerance thresholds.

Resistance Exercise

Resistance exercise can be used to improve strength and reduce the pain associated with knee OA. Although the intensity of strength training needed to rehabilitate OA is unknown, both high-intensity and low-intensity exercise have proven effective. A randomized control trial by Todd Hargrove revealed that resistance training at various intensities and program lengths improved pain and function.

Marathon Running

Running is an effective way to manage and control arthritis. A 2018 research review by Tom Goom revealed that runners have improved knee pain compared to non-runners. Individuals who engage in regular running or jogging for about 20 minutes every time report an improved pain management in the joints. If you are diagnosed with osteoarthrosis, you are encouraged to continue running without fear of further damage.

Platelet-rich Plasma

Clinical use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has proven effective in improving symptoms of joint structure among patients with knee OA. Essentially, PRP is an autologous blood product, which contains high levels of growth factors and cytokines. Intra-articular injections of PRP can alter the biological processes caused by OA pathogenesis.


Exercise is undeniably one of the most important aspects of managing OA. However, without proper patient education, individuals may not adopt the lifestyle needed to manage the condition. In fact, patient education is a core treatment approach as far as rehabilitation of arthritis is concerned. The most important components of education include:

  • A simplified definition of OA
  • Discussions about patient beliefs and perceptions of OA
  • Importance of lifestyle interventions such as regular physical activity, weight loss, sleep and stress management, and nutrition
  • Dosing of physical exercise and load management
  • Education on flare-ups
  • Managing expectations, motivations, and reassurance

Bottom Line

The management of osteoarthritis is a combination of several interventions. In addition to physical exercise, it is equally important that patients receive adequate education on managing the condition. To learn more about what exercises you should be incorporating for you type of osteoarthritis book with one of our therapists today. 

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