Patients who have osteoarthritis sometimes hear conflicting things. To exercise or not to exercise, that is the question! The evidence is very clear: exercise! We should all be moving as much as we can, regardless of any changes we may see on X-rays. A simple summary of the evidence and some ideas on how to exercise when we have osteoarthritis can be found in this document: Exercise matters
Osteoarthritis is very common and affects most of us from the age of 20. Panic not; this is mostly pain-free and these changes are normal like the grey hair or wrinkles that most of us will acquire at some stage. Physical activity is a great way to manage aches and pains despite having osteoarthritis. You may find this post on exercises for back pain interesting.
MRIs of people that aren’t experiencing back pain have shown that:
- 37% of 20 year olds, 80% of 50 year olds, and 96% of 80 year olds have disc degeneration
- 30% of 20 year olds, 60% of 50 year olds, and 84% of 80 year olds have disc bulges
Over 70% of people in their twenties have disc bulges in the neck without neck pain!
So, don’t worry if medical imaging has shown some of these changes: keep moving, and if you feel stiff or achey, feel free to contact us.