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Osteoarthritis and Strength Training

Osteoporosis, which literally means porous bone, is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced. As bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of fracture is greatly increased. The loss of bone occurs silently and progressively.

In a review of 8 studies that included older adults with osteoarthritis, researchers found that strength training programs reduced participants’ pain by 35% and increased their lower limb strength and function by 33%, compared to the control groups.

Strength training can also help you lose weight, which can greatly improve your symptoms if you have osteoarthritis in a weight-bearing joint like your hip, knee, or ankle.

And the benefits of strength training aren’t just true for those with osteoarthritis. Strength training has also been shown to help those with systemic, inflammatory types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis. In fact, a 2-year study of recently diagnosed patients with rheumatoid arthritis found that strength training increased muscle strength by as much as 59% along with increasing physical function.

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