What is OA?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common chronic disorders of the joints. In healthy joints, cartilage covers the surface of the joint which helps absorb shock and allows smooth movements. However, in OA the cartilage of the joint affected wears down and can result in bone on bone movement. Research has shown there are some risk factors that increase your risk of developing OA, which include:

  • Previous injury,
  • Jobs involving lifting heavy weight, kneeling, climbing, squatting,
  • Family history of OA, 
  • Being overweight, and
  • Repetitive use.

OA can affect any joint, however, the most common joints affected are hips, knees, fingers, hands, big toe and spine. OA can develop at any age, it is most common in individuals over the age of 40, or those who have had joint injuries previously. Symptoms of OA can be very individualised. The most common symptoms are pain and joint stiffness, other symptoms of OA can include loss of joint flexibility, clicking noises or grating sensations.


How is OA diagnosed?

A GP can generally diagnose OA based on reported symptoms and a physical examination of the affected joint. Persistent pain, joint stiffness for less than 30 minutes, reduced function, joint crepitus, restricted motion and bony enlargements are 6 key features that lead to a confident diagnosis of OA. Further testing can be conducted to aid in the diagnosis of OA, these include X-ray, MRI, and blood tests.


How can Activate Health help you?

Here at Activate Health we are passionate about providing top quality Exercise Physiology to ensure all our clients receive the care and outcomes they deserve and work for. Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP’s) are trained to provide evidence-based exercise interventions to individuals at high risk of developing, or with existing, chronic conditions and injuries. Exercise is clinically proven and recommended to manage OA. Research shows that exercise benefits induvial with wide range of OA severities. Exercise has been shown to be just as effective as pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication in relieving symptoms of OA. Using exercise as a medicine our AEP’s can:

  • Decrease pain,
  • Increase muscle strength,
  • Improve range of movement (ROM),
  • Improve balance,
  • Prevent deconditioning (loss of fitness and muscle wasting),
  • Improve physical function, and
  • Improve general wellbeing.


Recommendation for people suffering with OA are to exercise 4 – 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes. It is important to being exercise slowly and progress gradually. Strength and aerobic exercise are recommended forms for people with OA. Hydrotherapy (water) exercise is highly recommended for people with OA, as the water bouncy minuses the load placed on  the joints and reduces pain on weight-bearing. It is highly recommended that before starting exercise you receive a comprehensive assessment by an AEP to insure safe exercise procedures are followed.


Talk to your Doctor today and ask about having a Care Plan referral completed for visits to come and speak with an AEP form Activate Health, we fully bulk bill all care plan sessions. We also take private bookings which most health funds will cover part of the payments. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any inquires.