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Arthritis Awareness

Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, there are currently more than 4.6 million Canadians living with osteoarthritis (OA)?

Exercising your OA joint is important to maintain joint health and slow down the progression of OA. Strength & stability training has been shown to decrease joint pain (including pain when sleeping at night!), improve range of motion, improve your sense of stability within your joint, and improve your overall functional abilities (Stand & walk for longer, climb stairs, get up independently from a chair).

New exercise programs may seem daunting at first, especially when you are experiencing joint pain, so here are some guidelines to get you started:

· Start new activities slowly and progress gradually – When in doubt, work with a healthcare provider to begin a new exercise program safely!

·  New exercise programs are likely to cause “delayed onset of muscle soreness” for 24-48 hours after the activity – this is different than your OA joint pain – and is a good indication that you are creating changes in your muscular strength and stability. This soreness can be eased with stretching or gentle activity, such as a light walk.

·  Keep your joint pain at a low to moderate intensity during exercise (ie. 5/10 or less on a pain rating scale)

·  Joint discomfort from exercise should subside to your baseline level of pain within 1-2 hours of completing the activity (if they last longer, you are likely working too hard and may cause a flare-up!)

Below are two programs that focus on OA joints:

1)  GLA:D Canada: 7-week education and exercise program for individuals living with hip/knee OA. Offered at no-cost by BFHT-Physiotherapy. Book an assessment by calling: 289-861-5611 ext. 5512. Learn more at:

2)  Arthritis Rehabilitation and Education Program: individualized joint assessment, education, and exercise for any type of arthritic condition. Offered through OHIP by the Arthritis Society of Canada. Book an appointment by calling: 1-800-321-1433. Learn more at:


Interested in learning more?

Join Jessica, BFHT Physiotherapist, in collaboration with the Burlington Public Library for a talk on Wednesday, June 12th at 1:30pm at the Tansley Woods Branch.

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