Arthritis and Physical Activity



Arthritis and physical activity. Senior man stretching an exercise band.

How can physical activity help joints that are already sore from arthritis?  Chronic pain caused by arthritis affects millions of people in the United States every year. About one in four adults with arthritis—15 million people—report experiencing severe joint pain related to arthritis.[1]

Exercise is important to help improve mood, strengthen muscles, give more energy, enhance quality of life, and improve balance.  It is the lack of exercise that contributes to joints becoming even more painful and stiff. It is always best to talk with a doctor or physical therapist to decide what exercise plan would give the most benefit and be the least aggravating for joint pain.

Some joint friendly exercises would include walking, biking, and swimming. It is important to stay as active as possible, depending on arthritis pain.  Some physical activity is always better than none at all.

Learn More:

Exercise Helps Ease Arthritis Pain and Stiffness. [Internet] Mayo Clinic. Available from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/in-depth/arthritis/art-20047971#:~:text=Exercise%20is%20crucial%20for%20people,few%20laps%20might%20seem%20overwhelming.

Physical Activity for Arthritis. [Internet] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/physical-activity-overview.html


  1. Barbour KE, Boring M, Helmick CG, Murphy LB, Qin J. Prevalence of severe joint pain among adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis—United States, 2002–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65(39):1052–1056.
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