Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition affecting many people, up to 4.6 million Canadians according to The Arthritis Society. OA is particularly common at the hip and knee joints, which can make it more difficult to be active and maintain one’s health due to the pain associated with weight-bearing activities. So, what is the best way to manage the painful symptoms associated with lower-limb OA? According to a recent systematic review, aquatic exercise has been shown to be effective in managing symptoms of this disease. Details of the review are listed below.

  • Therapeutic exercise significantly reduced pain and stiffness compared to no exercise
  • Therapeutic exercise significantly improved self-reported functioning, quality of life and joint range of motion
  • Therapeutic exercise did not have a significant effect on muscle strength compared to the control group which performed no exercise

Joint replacements can also be an option for some, but even for those who do eventually receive one, there is still a waiting period and often many years of dealing with painful symptoms. This review confirms that exercise can be a useful way to manage symptoms. The Kelowna area offers many options for pool-based exercise, so if lower limb OA affects you, contact your neighbourhood recreation centre and inquire about aqua-fit classes today!

The Physiotherapists at PhysioActive can also help you set up a non-weightbearing exercise program as well if the pool is not your thing. Contact us today at 778-478-7155 and we will be happy to help!



  1. The Arthritis Society (2015, February 2). Arthritis Facts & Figures. Retrieved from http://www.arthritis.ca/facts
  2. Waller, B., Ogonowska-Slodownik, A., Vitor, M, Lambek, J., Daly, D., Kujala, U. M., & Heinonen, A. (2014). Effect of therapeutic aquatic exercise on symptoms and function associated with lower limb osteoarthritis: Systematic review with meta-analysis. Physical Therapy, 94(10), 1383-1395.
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