Exercise for Patients with Osteoarthritis: A Phased Approach to Plannng
September 15, 2002
ABSTRACT: Exercise can be an effective way to stabilize or slow the degenerative process of osteoarthritis-provided convenient, safe, and enjoyable activities are selected and achievable goals are set. Implement an osteoarthritis exercise plan in phases, and progress gradually from one phase to the next; this will help both you and your patient anticipate difficulties and gauge progress. The first phase-the initial evaluation-includes gathering baseline data, targeting an area of the body to focus on first, and identifying potential contraindications to activities. Subsequent phases include range of motion exercises (stretching), isometric and isotonic strengthening exercises, and recreational or functional activities. Encourage patients to continue stretching exercises throughout the program.