Osteoarthritis & Osteoporosis : Common conditions associated with ageing/inactivity and how to overcome them…

Young at heart and active for life Middlesbrough

Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis may seem like similar conditions but they vary greatly in how they affect the body. In this article we look at the conditions, how they affect the body and what steps can be taken to help alleviate symptoms and stay active.

It may seem like there are many barriers to exercising and participating in classes if you have osteoarthritis or osteoporosis.
With Chair Based Yoga and Exercise classes, gentle exercises are accessible for all.

Osteo – Relating to the bones….

Osteoarthritis affects approximately 8 million people in the UK and affects primarily those in their 40’s and over.

Osteoporosis affects over 3 million that we are aware of, however it is known as a ‘silent’ disease. This is because many people are unaware they have it until they break a bone.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteorathritis is a degenerative condition in which the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones becomes damaged. The bone tries to repair itself, but sometimes forms growths that misalign with the movement of the joint, causing pain. It can also change the structure and position of tissues within the joint. This causes pain and stiffness, especially in later stages where the bones connect and cartilage is worn away.

This condition usually affects joints that get a lot of use, such as the hips and knees. It can also occur if a bone associated with the joint has been fractured, or if the joint has been damaged.

Stages of Knee Osteoarthritis
1. Doubtful – Minimum disruption – Approx 10% cartilage loss
2. Mild – Joint space narrowing. Cartilage beginning to break down.
3. Moderate – Joint space reduction greater. Gaps in cartilage mean bones can touch.
4. Severe – Joint space greatly reduced. 60% or more of cartilage lost.

– Symptoms of Osteoarthritis –

  1. Painful clicking, grating or crackling sounds
  2. Aysymmetry of conditions (May affect one side but not another)
  3. Stiffness
  4. Joint pain (hips, knees and hands)
  5. Bone spurs
  6. Reduced flexibility (difficulty climbing stairs or bending down)
  7. Mild/moderate swelling

    If you have any symptoms or feel that there is a slow onset of osteoarthritis, please see your doctor for advice and guidance.

How can gentle exercise and movement help?

Gentle toning and resistance exercises can help improve muscle strength and support the joints affected.

Gentle motion based exercises and increasing the range of motion can help improve mobility and reduce symptoms.

Physical activity – gentle exercise, walking, doing housework etc can really help with alleviating stiffness. Sitting still = getting stiffer!

Also, a good diet full of nutrient dense foods as well as drinking 2 litres of water daily can really help provide the body with the tools it needs to replenish and heal.

What you should avoid doing.

Try to avoid pushing through painful movements. Listen to your body and the signals it gives you.
Also, whilst stretching is really good for improving flexibility and mobility, extreme stretching should be avoided. High impact activities (including jumping exercises) should be avoided.
Crossing legs when sitting or standing can worsen symptoms, especially after an operation or hip replacement.


What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become weaker. It happens over time and is often only diagnosed when a trip or fall causes a bone to break.
The condition affects the inner structure of bones. It means that bones are more likely to fracture easily after a minor bump or fall. Especially in the wrists, hips and spine.

A loss of bone density leads to osteoporosis. Although normally it is diagnosed through a fracture, it can be spotted through a stooped posture.

– Symptoms of Osteoporosis –

  • Tenderness and pain in the bones and joints
  • Loss of height
  • Deformities in the spine
  • Protruding abdomen
  • Stooped posture
  • Neck and lower back pain
  • Fractures in bones

How can gentle exercise and movement help?

Exercises that improve posture can really help, especially those that strengthen the muscles around the spine, hips and wrists. This helps to support the joints.

Weight bearing activities really help to improve bone density. When we practice weight bearing exercises they encourage the body to produce cells known as osteoblasts which help to increase bone density.

Balance exercises help to gently tone our muscles and improve our balance and gait, which helps reduce our risk of trips and falls. This in turn helps us reduce the risks of fractures.

As stated above, a good diet full of nutrient dense foods as well as drinking 2 litres of water daily can really help provide the body with the tools it needs to replenish and heal.

What you should avoid doing.

Things to avoid include excessive stretching, fast twitching movements and high impact exercises.

How AMALAwellness’ Classes can help…

Young at heart - Active for LIFE! Yoga in Middlesbrough and Teesside

We are offering fun and friendly Chair Yoga and Yoga classes across Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland which can help with improving:

✔ Balance and Confidence
✔ Mobility and Flexibility
✔ Strength and Independence

Our Chair Based Yoga and Exercise classes are a low impact exercise class designed for those age 50+, or those with limited mobility and a need for gentle exercise.

They help you stay fit, active and enjoying later life.

We spend time in class learning how to improve our flexibility, aerobic fitness, mobility, balance and strength in a safe, warm welcoming environment every lesson.

The exercises can be done standing, seated on a chair or standing with chair support and can be adapted to meet your needs with less repetitions or lower resistance.

More information on our Chair Yoga and Yoga classes can be found here.

Would you or a loved one benefit from a class? We would love to hear from you.

Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Chair Based Yoga and Exercise teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.

Find AMALAwellness yoga and meditation classes in Teesside and online.

25 thoughts on “Osteoarthritis & Osteoporosis : Common conditions associated with ageing/inactivity and how to overcome them…

  1. My mum is suffering more and more with arthritis so I’m going to share this with her, as I don’t think she realised that gentle exercise will help her. Mich x

  2. I have never heard of this illness before, but it is very interesting to hear about it now! Exercise can really help so much, in so many ways.

  3. I had no idea that it affected so many people out there. My mum has arthritis but that’s due to operations she’s had on her ankles making her less mobile x

  4. I learned so much about Osteoarthritis & Osteoporosis! I never knew what is the general causes or how to treat it.

  5. For fear of this happening I have made it a priority to move more. There are days I am glued to my computer, but the days that I am not… I am always moving.

  6. This is a concern when we get older but then there are things that we can do that will help. Exercise especially yoga is great.

  7. This is such an informative post, thanks for sharing! I had no idea about the differences and think the tips here are so useful to those who might be suffering! x

  8. Such great information! Osteoporosis runs in my family, and I need to be informed about the difference between that and osteoarthritis. Interesting!

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