For Arthritis, Prevention is Better than the Cure

A new study, published in the Journal Arthritis Research and Therapy, has shown exercise beneficial in reducing or preventing the pain of osteoarthritis. This study followed two groups of women, both of whom were previously free of joint pain, one aged 48-55 years, one aged 72-79 years. Questioners determined the amount of physical activity and timing of the onset of symptoms which suggested osteoarthritis, like stiff or painful joints. The physical activity was categorized as none, low (1h hour and 15 minutes of activity), moderate (21/2 hours weekly), and high, (over 21/2 hours weekly).

For the older group, those who did even low amounts of physical activity reduced their chances of developing arthritis symptoms by 28%. Those who exercised moderately lowered their risk by 46%, and those who exercised most lowered their risk by 39%. A direct effect was not found in the younger group though the reasons for that are unclear.

 There are a lot of ways for seniors to get active, and a lot of health benefits besides a lowering in arthritis pain. Being physically active can decrease your chance of stroke, depression, osteoporosis and premature death. Walking, swimming, tennis and gardening are all great ways to add some activity to your day. Get a friend to take a walk with you this weekend, join a swim club, or just get out there and get moving!


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