Therapeutic and physical fitness exercise prescription for older adults with joint disease: an evidence-based approach

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2000 Aug;26(3):617-46. doi: 10.1016/s0889-857x(05)70159-9.


Aging with joint disease does necessarily result in chronic pain, adoption of a sedentary lifestyle, and functional dependency. Several randomized controlled trials clearly show that regular exercise does not exacerbate pain or accelerate disease progression. On the contrary, these studies suggest that exercise training may increase the physiologic reserve and reduce the risk for functional dependency in older adults with joint disease. The goals for an exercise program should be directed toward increasing flexibility, muscle strength, endurance, and cardiovascular fitness. An exercise training program that is tailored specifically to an older adult's physical limitations may achieve these goals, and by optimizing patient safety lead to improve long-term exercise compliance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy*
  • Physical Fitness*