Thursday, December 18, 2014

Exercise's Effects on Bones and Muscles

Exercise's Effects on Bones and Muscles


Exercise is critical for strong muscles and bones. Muscle strength declines as people age, but studies report that when people exercise they are stronger and leaner than others in their age group.

Exercise may help kids lower their risk of chronic pain in the future.

The structure of a joint
Joints are complex structures. They are designed to bear weight and move the body. Above the knee is the femur (thigh bone). Below the knee is the tibia (shin bone) and fibula. The kneecap is also called the patella. It rides on top of the lower portion of the femur and the top portion of the tibia. The muscles and ligaments connect these bones, and the space between them is cushioned by fluid-filled capsules (synovia) and cartilage. When you exercise, the muscles pull on the bones, strengthening them. The range of motion of a joint represents how far it can be flexed (bent) and extended (stretched).

Effects of Exercise on Osteoarthritis

Joints require motion to stay healthy. Long periods of inactivity cause the arthritic joint to stiffen and the adjoining tissue to weaken. A moderate exercise program that includes low-impact aerobics, flexibility exercises, and strength training has benefits for arthritis patients, even if exercise does not slow down the disease progression. Many patients who start an exercise program report less disability and pain. They are also better able to perform daily chores, and they remain independent longer than their inactive peers. Older patients and those with medical problems should always check with their doctor before starting an exercise program.

Click the icon to see an image of osteoporosis.

The following are useful exercises for osteoarthritis patients:

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Review Date: 05/08/2011
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)