Walking as Exercise for People with Osteoarthritis

A leader in the field of orthopedic regenerative medicine, Dr. Alimorad Farshchian has performed over 40,000 procedures and serves as the medical director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine in Miami. In addition to surgery, Dr. Alimorad Farshchian also advises patients with osteoarthritis on alternative approaches to overcoming pain, such as gentle exercise.

For many people with osteoarthritis, following an exercise program is challenging, especially when symptoms flare up and interfere with comfortable movement. However, starting a gentle exercise program, such as walking, can help a person feel better in the long run.

Starting a walking program does not mean that the person needs to commit to walking a certain distance every day. Individuals should modify their approach based on how their bodies respond and only walk as far as they feel comfortable. Over time, walking becomes easier, especially as the person develops stronger muscles and the symptoms of arthritis improve.

In addition, walking regularly helps provide the physical activity a person with osteoarthritis may need in order to maintain a healthy weight. Keeping excess weight off keeps pressure off the joints and provides relief from symptoms.

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Effects of Osteoarthritis on the Joints

Dr. Alimorad Farshchian holds almost 15 years of experience in joint anatomy, disease, and treatment. As medical director of The Center for Regenerative Medicine in Miami, Florida, Dr. Alimorad Farshchian has used cell therapy to treat numerous patients with arthritis.

Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to by patients simply as “arthritis,” involves the breakdown of the cartilage that protects the joints. When this happens, the cartilage flakes away and settles in the nearby synovial fluid, thus causing the synovial membrane to become inflamed, leaving the joints without their normal protection. In response, the joint thickens and becomes misshapen, while tendons thicken in an attempt to protect the joint.

These structural changes lead to a limited range of motion or loss of motion in the affected joint. Patients also frequently experience pain caused by both the abnormal functioning of the joint and associated inflammation. The inflammation itself frequently manifests as swelling, redness, and a feeling of heat. Patients with arthritis are also more susceptible to traumatic injury of the joints and a wearing away of the bone surfaces.