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Arthritis Awareness Month: How to Stay Physically Active

Arthritis Awareness Month: How to Stay Physically Active

It’s Arthritis Awareness Month!

To celebrate arthritis awareness month, I will use this post to explain what is arthritis, why it occurs, drop some important statistics, and chat with you about best options to help people living with arthritis become and maintain physically active lives. 

Hey friends and patients, if you don’t already know my name is Dr. Edmond Cleeman. I'm an orthopedic doctor based in New York specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopy.

You can click on the button below to watch my video.

Click here


What is arthritis: 

Osteoarthritis, the kind of arthritis that most people think of when they hear the word arthritis refers to a condition in which the cartilage, the smooth coating that covers ends of bones wears done. In it’s most severe state, all the cartilage is worn away and the bone rub on each other causing pain and a crunchy sound.  Additionally, the knee lining (synovium) becomes inflamed, leading to swollen and stiffness.

What causes arthritis: 




The prevalence of arthritis increases by age and is detailed here for the US 



Adults who are overweight or obese are more likely to be diagnosed with arthritis



In 2013, the national costs of arthritis were estimated as $304 billion overall.


Physical Activity

In general, everyone, even arthritic patients need to be physically active. It is critical for reducing mortality, CVD, dementia, DM, metabolic disease, improve mood, quality of life and more. The people who are recommended to participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity are also likely to have arthritis and can present a challenge to meet recommend levels of activity.

For those patients with arthritis that can exercise, run and jump, we encourage them to continue their activities. Studies have found for these arthritic patients these activities improve symptoms and do not accelerate the arthritis. Conversely, it has been shown to reduce the need for knee surgery. However, for those arthritic patients that are severely limited from the pain, we recommend transitioning to low impact activities like cycling, walking, and swimming. 

Treatment options

What are some of the non-surgical options that we can implement to help patients with arthritis maintain physically active lives. It is important to understand that we can help manage the pain and improve function, but we cannot change the arthritis. Physical therapy, exercise, steroid injection, hyaluronic acid injection and bracing are traditional modalities available and help many people. In cases where the pain is severe and function greatly hindered, joint replacement surgery is an option.

To sum it up - Stay physically active. 

Find activities that don’t cause pain. If running or some other sport gives you joy keep it up, don’t worry, science seems to indicate its beneficial and not harmful.  Please link to the Video to watch my conversation with Karena Wu, physical therapist, as we discuss arthritis and its treatment.  

If your suffering from arthritis, please contact us to make an appointment with Dr Edmond Cleeman and let us help you get off the sidelines and back to being physically active. 

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