For people with knee osteoarthritis, the goal of resistance exercise is to strengthen muscle groups around affected knee joints, stabilize and protect the affected joints, and improve mechanics of the joints. According to a report in the October 2008 issue of Arthritis Care & Research, researchers in Sydney, Australia reviewed 18 previous studies that assessed the effectiveness of resistance exercise on knee osteoarthritis. The results were positive -- resistance exercise improved muscle strength and self-reported pain and physical function in participants from a majority of the 18 studies.
While the results are encouraging, you should first discuss your physical limitations and your expectations for resistance exercise with your doctor. Resistance exercise is not appropriate for all types of arthritis, nor all arthritis patients. Your doctor will evaluate your physical condition and help you decide how to proceed.
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