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The GLA:D Program is a 6-week program designed for adults with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis to learn optimal management skills.

Exercise can play a major role in helping Halifax seniors manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that affects millions of seniors worldwide. Many Halifax seniors with osteoarthritis are scared to engage in physical activity for fear of worsening their symptoms. However, research studies have consistently demonstrated that exercise actually provides significant benefits in reducing pain for those with osteoarthritis.

Working as a physiotherapist, I have seen first-hand how beneficial exercise can be in improving quality of life for Halifax seniors living with osteoarthritis. Here are some of the ways that exercise can provide pain-relief:

Regular physical activity can stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller hormones. This endorphin release can reduce pain for Halifax seniors with osteoarthritis by positively impacting the level of perceived pain experienced with activity.

Cartilage Health:
The health of the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones benefits from the “on/off” pressure that happens with exercise. These benefits are particularly well-established for the knees and hips; the cartilage health in these joints benefits substantially from weight-bearing exercises.

Shock Absorption:
Stronger muscles can better control the amount of force reaching any joint in the body. Strong and supple muscles can act as natural shock absorbers, reducing the size and number of jarring forces that reach irritable joints with osteoarthritis.

Movement Control:
Exercises that focus on controlling and coordinating movement of the limb as a whole can strengthen the muscles around the affected joints. As a result of improved movement control, abnormal pressures in the joint are reduced. This improved support and stability typically results in Halifax seniors having better tolerance of daily movements and recreational activities.

Improved Joint Flexibility:
Regular exercise can optimize joint mobility (range of motion) and prevent stiffness in the joints affected by osteoarthritis. When joints move with greater ease, completing everyday activities tends to be easier and less painful.

Weight Management:
Regular exercise plays a pivotal role in managing body weight. Maintaining a healthy body weight can be helpful for Halifax seniors to reduce the load being transferred through joints with osteoarthritis. Even small amounts in weight reduction have been shown to have significant impacts on pain relief and quality of life.

With all of these known benefits of exercise in the management of osteoarthritis, it is crucial that Halifax seniors with the condition have professional guidance to learn appropriate exercises. It is not a one-size-fits-all all prescription; exercises need to be assigned on an individual basis by a professional who is knowledgeable about osteoarthritis and is competent in exercise prescription.

A meeting with a physiotherapist is a great place to start for Halifax seniors. The physiotherapist might suggest a home exercise program, supervised one-on-one work, or even participation in a small group program like the GLA:D ™ (Good Life with osteoarthritis, from Denmark) Program for hip and knee OA.

Avoiding exercise can be tempting when the symptoms of osteoarthritis make it painful to move. However, learning how to move with greater confidence and competence is actually one of the best ways to achieve greater comfort. Our physiotherapists at Zoomers regularly work with Halifax seniors to improve the management of their osteoarthritis symptoms. Book an assessment today to get started towards a more comfortable and mobile tomorrow!

Book an assessment with Zoomers

Use our online booking tool to find a time that works for you!