If you have diabetes – particularly type 2 – then you have an elevated risk of developing osteoarthritis. This painful condition causes the cartilage between your joints to degenerate at an accelerated rate.
"OA is most common in your hips and knees," says Diabetic Living exercise physiologist Christine Armarego. "The pain it causes frequently leads to inactivity. However, being inactive reduces your muscle mass, which in turn, worsens OA and increases pain. Inactivity and loss of muscle mass make managing your blood glucose levels harder as well."
Whether you want to prevent OA or you already have it and are looking for a way to relieve the discomfort, tailored exercises can help. "Resistance training is the best form of exercise for managing the pain of OA," says Armarego.
"Using resistance like weights or bands strengthens the muscles around your joints, which provide support when you’re moving. It can also improve your joint function. This type of training prevents further aggravation of OA as well as reducing or managing joint pain."
Get on top of your pain with these three exercises – you’ll need a chair and a resistance band
1. Hip Abduction: With a resistance band around your ankles, stand side-on to a chair. Slowly raise the outer leg to the side, then return it to the floor. (Don’t raise your leg too high.) Repeat 10-15 times. Repeat with the other leg.
2. Hip Extension: With a resistance band around your ankles, stand facing the back of a chair. Slowly raise one leg out behind you, then return it to the floor. (Don’t raise your leg too high.) Repeat 10-15 times. Repeat with the other leg.
3. Sit to stand: Sit on a chair, your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping the arch in your back, stand up. Then sit back down again, pushing your backside out and keeping your knees over your toes. Repeat 10-15 times, three times a week.