Exercising with Osteoarthritis

Ask the Raffles Medical Group Experts


Can people with osteoarthritis exercise and what types are ideal?


“Wear and tear”on the joints is the basis of osteoarthritis. As such patients may minimise joint usage to slow down the disease’s progression. However, exercising strengthens the muscles around the joints, which has various benefits. Hence, it should be done within tolerable pain limits.

Suggested exercises include range of motion and flexibility exercises, involving stretching the muscles, which reduces stiffness and improves flexibility. Aerobic and endurance exercises improve stamina and reduce fatigue. Swimming is also ideal, as it does not put additional pressure on the joint. Alternatively, tai chi has been shown to increase physical functions in osteoarthritis patients.