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A recent news article from WebMD, featuring expertise provided by Leigh F. Callahan, PhD, highlighted osteoarthritis and how exercise can be used to help alleviate accompanying joint pain. The story turned its spotlight on one of our very own TARC Stakeholder Advisory Board members, Dianne Rosenbluth. Upon discovering that she has osteoarthritis, Dianne integrated exercise into her routine in an effort to ease her pain and improve her mobility.

Leigh Callahan (left) and Dianne Rosenbluth (right)
Leigh F. Callahan, PhD, Associate Director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and Director of the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (left) and Dianne Rosenbluth (right).

“Someone with joint pain is often concerned that exercising will exacerbate their pain and they are hesitant to start engaging in any physical activity,” said Callahan. She goes on to note that a “measured approach” to exercise can be helpful. For example, people who are inactive should start with a low-intensity activity like walking and slowly increase their distance over time.

It’s not just joint pain that stands to benefit from physical activity. “In addition to the improvement in arthritis symptoms, exercise and physical activity provide mental health benefits and improve overall quality of life,” Callahan stated.

Regarding when to seek specialty care, Callahan recommended arthritis-appropriate evidence-based interventions (AAEBIs) for people who want to learn more about exercise. The Arthritis Foundation offers a “Walk with Ease” program that leads people through appropriate steps for setting goals, warming up, walking, cooling down, and stretching properly. The Osteoarthritis Action Alliance and the CDC recognize these AAEBIs because they increase physical activity and improve arthritis symptoms.

This story includes quotes from the WebMD article, How Exercise Can Help Ease Osteoarthritis Pain, written by Damian McNamara.