Newly diagnosed osteoarthritis

Overexerciser Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:09 in Living with arthritis

Hi, I was diagnosed with mild osteoarthritis in both knees last year. I have always been very active and did a lot of exercise, carried everything, as I don't drive, and now my body is definitely paying me back. I am 44 years old.

I've also started having pain in my wrists, fingers and elbows so am assuming that is also arthritis. Am really unsure how much exercise to still do, I went for a swim the other day and ached throughout. I only did 10 lengths compared to the 60 lengths I did in the past but had carried a couple of shopping bags home from the bus so that definitely didn't help. I'm just not sure what I can and can't do anymore . Can I paint my walls at home or will that just progress everything? . I'm starting on am anti inflammatory diet tomorrow and hoping that might help. I just want to know how to slow or stop the progression if that is at all possible. I also do sign language in my job and am concerned it's already in my fingers . I just need advice.


  • PeterJ
    PeterJ Administrator Posts: 883

    Hello @Overexerciser and welcome to the community. We are a friendly and supportive group and I hope that that will be your experience as well.

    I understand that you have recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and also that you are looking for help on things you can do to help the condition. Our website has a lot of useful information and I would recommend having a look around it. To help I've put a couple f links in below which may be of some interest.

    Please do keep posting and let us know how you are getting on and I am sure others will connect with you to share their thoughts and experiences as well.

    With very best wishes

    Peter (moderator)

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Rina
    Rina Member Posts: 85

    Hi @Overexerciser,

    It’s a tricky one isn’t it? Knowing how far to push yourself without going too far. Current thinking is definitely on the side of exercise though, as it’s so good for physical and mental health, so don’t give up. I push myself as far as I can and then if I suffer a bit the next day, it usually wears off pretty quickly. I don’t do high impact stuff though - just walking, swimming and stretch classes.

    The VA website has got a good guide to exercising with arthritis that might be useful.

    Good Luck,


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,403

    You can protect your hands by carrying your shopping bags on your forearms for example so that you can keep them protected for signing.

    When you're newly diagnosed it can be very scary and the fear that things will progress really fast is there for all of us.

    I also exercise daily even if it's only a short walk (I've already been while it's cooler today), but pace yourself paint the room if you want to but not the whole room in one day 😉

    Take care @Overexerciser

    Toni x

  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 64


    I have OA in my lower spine. My physio said I couldn’t make it worse with exercise and I should be sensible and that even jogging wasn’t off the table.

    However my attempts at jogging didn’t go well as I had more pain afterwards than less. So I continued to try different exercises. Ballet and tap is fine. Aerobics put me in bed for the day. I can cycle for 30 mins but if I stop mid route my back seizures up and is painful so no stopping. Swimming is fine.

    All you can do is try. Perhaps just paint for 20 mins on day one and see how you are afterwards. If ok do more the next day- trial and error. And listen to your body- build up gradually.

    I found everything very frustrating at first with OA but now I am much more confident at doing exercises and also more accepting if an exercise or activity isn’t for me. I recently enjoyed a few hours at a trampoline play centre with my Grandkids. I was a bit worried at first but was fine for an hour or so before my back started hurting so I stopped bounce and got a brew. I expected to be in pain later but was amazed to find I was fine so can add trampoline to my “ok” activities.

    I hope you find the level of exercise that is right for you. I really believe that keeping active- even with some pain is the best way forward.

    Debbie aged 55 years