1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Readers Respond: Does Exercise Help or Hurt Your Arthritis?

Responses: 40


Updated September 11, 2009

According to survey results released by the Arthritis Society, almost two-thirds of Canadians struggling with arthritis believe that physical activity poses the risk of aggravating their symptoms. That result was considerably higher than the general population who responded at 46%.

Is this just a misconception and contrary to reports that regular exercise is beneficial for arthritis? Draw from your own experiences and answer our question: Does Exercise and Physical Activity Help or Hurt Your Arthritis?

Give Your Opinion.


Yes, exercise increases my arthritis pain, more so if I exercise early in the day. I wish it helped!
—Guest Jennifer

Exercise helps and hurts!

I have an arthritic knee caused from standing and working on it for long hours at a time! The only thing I have found that helps it is 2,000 mg. of MSM and an Aleve twice a day! The MSM is the thing that has almost made me pain free!!! I have tried lots of supplements, ultra-sound and exercise. If I stand or walk too much in a day it will aggravate my knee. I have an electric bicycle for the summer and now a stationary bike I use in the winter. I can only ride about 5-6 miles at a time, every other day without having pain. When I have pain I back off of biking and wait until I feel OK again. I also find that swimming feels wonderful but don't like the hassle of going to a pool, getting undressed, dressed and having to put makeup and hair together again!! Hope this helps someone!!
—Guest Sue

Exercise & arthritis

As I do free hand exercises & yoga stances & a few stretches every morning, I think that helps me. Getting stronger and stronger though I'm an arthritis victim.
—Guest maymay nu


Yoga has really helped people with arthritis. It is worth a try.

Painful arthritis....

Housekeeping makes my back hurt. What could be wrong? I have arthritis all throughout my body... also have Lupus and Fibromyalgia.. Help?
—Guest Doreen

RA and excercise

The more I use my joints and muscles the worse my flare ups are, to the point i can't move or drive.
—Guest char

Zumba with arthritis

I am 57 have arthritis in all my joints yet do zumba twice a week for 1 hour. It's great. It hurts but so do most things. Gotta keep going. Makes me feel young.
—Guest Jackie Coulbeck

Answers to exercise and arthritis

That's what I would like to know. I have been on pain pills for awhile. That has worked for me. I have always been an active person. I am a young 75 and still work. I have found that pampering my arthritis hinders my going from sitting to standing. Feels like I have a hinge in my groin that catches. I just joined a Health Club. I have started to do swim exercise, zoomba, which I had never seen before. I am not hurting and feel great. Laying around was making me stiff and have a lot of leg cramps. Eat bananas help with some ailments. I have decided with positive thinking, I am going to get rid of my arthritis. I believe in positive thinking instead of feeling sorry for myself and complaining. Have something to do in your life that is fun and positive. Happy New Yr.
—Guest Joy Wirick

Does exercise help or hurt arthritis

My husband was very athletic when his arthritis began 12 years ago. He now only moves from bed to his comfy chair and back. Just standing in the shower can cause him hours of discomfort. Any day that he does any type of walking or even riding in a car, causes days of excruciating pain. He is on morphine patches and they are becoming less and less effective. Exercise hurts him, it does not help him.
—Guest LeAnna

Exercise and osteoarthritis in the hip

I have been running for years tho now I have osteoarthritis in the hip I still run tho mainly on grass surface. I'm 65yr also now swim regularly and do other exercises and I eat well-overall. I feel very good and only occasionally do I get a sharp pain in the hip.
—Guest Jim

If exercise hurts that's bad medicine

RA pain can be controlled with a combination of methotrexate and cortizone combined with mild exercise. Your specialist will advise the correct dosage for you to minimise any bad side effects. The correct dosage is determined by a series of blood tests, usually monthly, to ascertain the ra factor (immune response) and various other factors in the blood. It takes about three weeks before a change in the medication takes effect so it may take 3 months or more to sort it out. WARNING!!! Once a cortizone treatment has been started it is very dangerous to stop. The adrenal cortex stops manufacturing it naturally and without it the body goes into shock. This could be life-threatening. Exercise should not be painful so if it hurts - stop doing it.
—Guest Bluebird

Causes More Pain

I've always been a walker (3 mil. day) though I was walking at a moderate pace (17 min. mile). Since Jan. I now do weight machines for 30 min. 3x a week, plus usually walk/jog (4.2 mph/6.5 mph) 3 miles most days. I have had more pain since beginning this more vigorous exercise plan than I ever had with my arthritis before. I'm considering backing off. Though I had to do that since I've gained muscle, lost fat, and lost 5 lbs. Don't know what the solution is, but it sure seems like the exercise causes me more pain.
—Guest susan

Does exercise help arthritis?

Exercise aggravates my arthritis and I'm tired of hearing that it helps. Not in my case it doesn't!
—Guest Ali

Exercising but still in pain

I've been working out for 2 months. My muscles around arthritis should be stronger, but my neck, lower back and sometimes mid back are still killing me often.
—Guest Iris

Does exercise help?

I am having a very painful flare and finding it hard to sleep as feel like been run over by bus....too scared to take medications with what I've read. Finding specialist charge heaps yet don't answer your questions.
—Guest Gail

Give Your Opinion.

Does Exercise Help or Hurt Your Arthritis?

Receive a one-time notification when your response is published.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.