Arthritis and Exercise

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition effecting joint cartilage. OA results in joint pain during a variety of daily activities including; climbing stairs, getting in and out of your car, and hanging out your washing. Risk factors associated with the development of OA include ageing, being overweight or obese, and repetitive movements with poor muscular recruitment patterns. Research suggests that by 2050 approximately 7 million Australian’s will be effected by some form of arthritis.

How can exercise reduce your risk and manage your symptoms?

Exercise nourishes joint cartilage: When we exercise synovial fluid responsible for lubricating joints is warmed-up, the synovial fluid becomes thinner allowing it to be absorbed by the joint cartilage. This absorption creates a cushioning effect and also allows for the removal of waste products from the cartilage.

Exercise addresses proprioception and balance: Being steady on your feet and using the right muscles to perform tasks builds confidence with everyday activities. Good proprioception and balance also reduces the risk of altered biomechanical loading patterns often responsible for additional uneven loading through joints.

Exercise reduces the risk of obesity: The greater the load on a joint, in this case your own body weight the greater the risk of wear and tear. Exercise has long been shown to be part of the balance between energy (food) in versus energy (physical exertion) out.

Absolute Balance run multiple specific programs such as Age Strong and Arthritis Army, these programs are aimed at aiding in the management of arthritis, and to increase strength, proprioception and balance along with reducing risk factors for other chronic diseases. If you would like more information on exercising to reduce the risk or aid in the management of arthritis, email us at or head to the website


Ingrid Hand (BSc – ExHealthSc, GraddipSc – ExRehab, MSc – HumMvt)

Exercise Rehabilitation Manager – Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AES, AEP) (ESSAM)