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Exercise is safe for almost everyone. In fact, studies show that people with osteoarthritis benefit from regular exercise and physical activity.

Senior man on a bicycle and wearing a helmet

For people with osteoarthritis, regular exercise can help:

  • Maintain healthy and strong muscles
  • Preserve joint mobility
  • Maintain range of motion
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce pain
  • Keep a positive attitude
  • Maintain a healthy body weight

Three types of exercise are best if you have osteoarthritis:

...continue reading "Go4Life: Exercising with Osteoarthritis from the National Institute on Aging"

Diagnosis: What kind of arthritis do I have?

There are more than 100 types of arthritis. It is important to know what kind of arthritis you have so you can get the right treatments. Make an appointment with your doctor today if you haven't been diagnosed and think you may have arthritis. Enroll in a Living Well Workshop today.

Physical Activity

Keep those joints moving! Joints are nourished by synovial fluid moving within the joint. The only way to keep that fluid moving is to move your body. Remember, low impact exercise is great for arthritis and there are a variety of options to explore such as swimming or strength training.

Studies show that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity three or more days a week can help you move more easily. Walking can also be a fun way to increase your mood, increase your flexibility and decrease pain.

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Chronic musculoskeletal conditions (specifically low back pain, hip and knee osteoarthritis) are highly prevalent in mid-life and older adults and adversely affect mobility.

Chronic musculoskeletal conditions account for over 50% of disability in adults over 65.

Declines in physical activity associated with chronic musculoskeletal conditions are directly linked to an increased risk of metabolic and cardiovascular disease.  Patients often experience a downward spiral of pain, reduced physical activity, increased co-morbidities adn health concerns that negatively impact quality-of-life and sense of well-being.  The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) identifies musculoskeletal conditions in older adults as priority conditions, calling for healthcare organizations to improve management strategies.

A number of community programs have been developed that are successful in reducing health risk and improving mobility for individuals with chronic pain conditions, however, care coordination between health providers and community programs is poor.

Providers only refer between 20-35% of individuals at greatest need to community programs and even fewer access the programs.

This suggests that despite numerous resources, we have not established the optimal support mechanisms for sustained physical activity in this population.  The focus of the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. project is to work with patient and community stakeholders interested in improving mechanisms for sustaining physical activity in mid-life and older adults with pain and limited mobility.