Although osteoarthritis (OA) is not a part of normal aging, knee OA is the most common type of lower limb OA and can lead to significant reductions in mobility, function and quality of life. Due to pain and crepitus (cracking, grinding etc), many believe that exercise can lead to further damage of the joint surfaces. A recent SBS Insight report by Christian Barton discusses this and helps to explain the importance of exercise to strengthen the surrounding muscle tissue, to provide better support. This, in turn, leads to a reduction in stress through the joint surfaces. It also looks into understanding your pain and how this helps you to better understand why your pain can increase as you become more sedentary.
It also looks at how simple exercises are all it takes to start to promote change, which is also seen across the current literature. There are always options for those who are ready to start taking control of their OA, it’s just about making that first step. If you feel that land-based exercises are not right for you, due to any reason, water aerobics can be a place to start as the heat of the water can decrease joint pain and stiffness and also begin to promote strength gains. It is not about “no pain, no gain”, it is about finding what you can tolerate in the beginning and progress from there.
Aquatic Exercise benefits : https://academic-oup-com.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/ptj/article/97/7/693/3746017