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Leigh Callahan, PhD

Can exercise help decrease osteoarthritis pain? One would think moving your joints more frequently would increase pain related to a joint disease but in fact physical activity can lessen the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Leigh Callahan, PhD, the Mary Link Briggs Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, and Associate Director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center, detailed how measured exercise can benefit her patients, in this WebMD article. 

It is recommended to:

  • Consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine
  • Start Slow
  • Move to challenge your body but not cause pain
  • Increase activity levels slowly overtime

Studies have shown exercise can improve swelling, stiffness, and a person’s ability to complete everyday tasks. Additionally, movement creates more synovial fluid around the joints keeping them lubricated. Exercise also improves blood flow to joints, circulation and provides mental health benefits.

Read about the common misconceptions related to osteoarthritis and exercise here.