When in pain it, exercise is often unthinkable. There is a natural tendency to want to rest a part of the body that is painful. Although beginning an exercise regimen is difficult for someone in pain, the benefits outweigh the initial difficulty, according to the article: “Moderate Exercise Prevents, Relieves Osteoarthritis” appearing in Family Practice News (October 15, 1999:36). The exercise should not be so strenuous as to aggravate the arthritis, but challenging enough for the patient to have improvement. The author recommends three, ten-minute periods of light exercise (a walk, for example). This sentiment is echoed in The American Journal of Sports Medicine (1997;25(6):873-881). Moderate, regular exercise does not increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Patients with arthritis should not do high-impact activities or activities that torque the joint. Within those parameters, exercise is beneficial to people with arthritis. Research appearing in Family Practice News (January 15, 2005:55) shows that exercising to increase the strength of the muscles that flex the hip can benefit patients with osteoarthritis in the knee. In general, strengthening muscles without aggravating joints creates improvement in patients with arthritis.
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