Goal of Arthritis Treatment

The illustration shows a slightly bent knee (front) with the following structures: femur, fibula, tibia. Extensively degraded articular cartilage. Inflammation of the entire joint.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that causes joint pain, stiffness, and decreased function. It is especially common in adults 50+. Osteoarthritis treatment focuses on your ability to exercise consistently at a pain-free level. You may want to try these slight exercise modifications to maximize the benefits of your aerobic activity.

Different Exercises for Different Pains

What happens when arthritic pain limits your ability to exercise? Well, here are some adjustments for you.

  1. If high-intensity running bothers you -> try less mileage and a slower pace
    1. It was once thought that running into your later years worsens the progression of arthritis. However, recent research suggests recreational runners have less chance of developing knee and hip arthritis compared to non-runners/sedentary individuals.
  2. If jogging bothers you -> try walking
    1. Cover the same distance as you would while jogging and grab a friend to join you. You’ll receive all the same positive effects: weight loss, mental stimulation, and stress relief!
  3. If walking bothers you -> try aquatic exercise classes
    1. Water supports your body weight and decreases stress and inflammation on painful arthritic joints. This leads to less pain and improved mobility.

You may limit your arthritis pain by finding the aerobic exercise that works for you. If these modifications don’t work for your crunchy knees or sore hips, contact your Physical Therapist. Physical Therapists are well positioned to treat mild to moderate osteoarthritis pain. Remember, your long-term joint health depends on consistent pain-free joint motion.



Dr. Patrick Donovan practices with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT), the highest degree attainable to practice Physical Therapy. He maintains your activity level with compassionate one-on-one treatment solutions. Patrick directly treats active adults 50+ in his Denver office. You may find pain-free activity by contacting him at heatherlanept.com.






Alentorn-Geli et al, titled “The Association of Recreational and Competitive Running With Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis” (J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2017;47(6):373-390. doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.7137).


Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease.