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Patient guidelines for weight-resistance training in osteoarthritis

Kenneth C Kalunian, MD
Section Editor
Peter Tugwell, MD
Deputy Editor
Monica Ramirez Curtis, MD, MPH


Weight-resistance exercises can be used as part of the therapeutic regimen in patients with osteoarthritis (OA). General guidelines for patients with OA who are performing such training are reviewed here.


Patients should be given general guidelines to follow when weight-resistance exercises are prescribed for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA). These include general considerations for planning an exercise program and strategies for performing exercises effectively and for avoiding injury.

General considerations — General considerations for the patient in planning weight-resistance training for OA include:

Before starting any weight-resistance program, consult with a medical specialist experienced in arthritis care to learn what response you might expect from exercise and to discuss limitations. Some forms of arthritis do not respond well to weight-resistance training, and there may be some contraindications.

Consult with a qualified physical therapist and/or personal trainer to find out which exercises are best for your particular type of arthritis. Some exercise and stretching routines are contraindicated and can aggravate a preexisting condition.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 17, 2016.
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