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OA and Inactivity

September 29, 2012

Osteoarthritis of the knee can be painful.  It can cause pain in many different activities of daily living.  This does not mean that it should be debilitating.

A recent article in the Cape Gazette addresses the “ceiling” effect.  The “ceiling” effect is where individuals suffering from osteoarthritis limit themselves to the activities that are comfortable.  While this may make things easier in the short term, it can be bad in the long term for several reasons:

1:  Avoiding painful activities can mean missing out on life.  As osteoarthritis progresses, the number of painful activities increases and the you will be increasingly limited.

2:  When you prevent yourself from exercising, you lead an inactive lifestyle.  Inactivity can lead to obesity, which makes the osteoarthritis worse.

3:  Inactivity can stiffen joints, reducing range of motion.  This further increases the pain and discomfort with motion, leading to more restricted activities.

So instead of avoiding knee pain, consider your options for pain management.  There are many types of physical therapy, bracing, medications, and even surgeries that can help you return to your desired activities.  Don’t let osteoarthritis keep you on the couch.



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