Copyright ©The Author(s) 2019. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Orthop. Jul 18, 2019; 10(7): 262-267
Published online Jul 18, 2019. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v10.i7.262
Exercise as medicine to be prescribed in osteoarthritis
Silvia Ravalli, Paola Castrogiovanni, Giuseppe Musumeci
Silvia Ravalli, Paola Castrogiovanni, Giuseppe Musumeci, Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Human Anatomy and Histology Section, School of Medicine, University of Catania, Catania 95125, Italy
Giuseppe Musumeci, Research Center on Motor Activities (CRAM), University of Catania, Catania 95123, Italy
Author contributions: Ravalli S generated the figures and wrote the manuscript; Castrogiovanni P contributed to the writing of the manuscript; Musumeci G designed the aim of the review and supervised the manuscript writing.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All other authors have no competing interests to declare.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Giuseppe Musumeci, PhD, Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Human Anatomy and Histology Section, School of Medicine, University of Catania, Via S. Sofia 87, Catania 95125, Italy. g.musumeci@unict.it
Telephone: +39-95-3782043 Fax: +39-95-3782034
Received: February 26, 2019
Peer-review started: February 27, 2019
First decision: April 12, 2019
Revised: May 8, 2019
Accepted: June 28, 2019
Article in press: June 29,2019
Published online: July 18, 2019

Inactivity contributes to chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disorders, and obesity. Sedentary habits can shorten life expectancy. Exercise has been widely proposed as a valuable approach to prevention. Regular physical activity, as part of one’s daily routine, may help to manage pathological conditions. This editorial especially addresses osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative disease of the articular cartilage, which is one of the most common causes of disability worldwide. Standard treatments for this illness include surgical procedures and pharmacological management; behavioural approaches are also strongly recommended. Physical exercise represents a practical strategy to preserve function, decrease pain and fatigue, and increase muscle strength and flexibility. We suggest that physical activity be considered as an established form of treatment, which means including exercise in standard therapeutic guidelines. A growing number of patients suffer from preventable chronic conditions that impose a heavy social and economic burden on the healthcare system. Preventive exercise training should be prescribed in the same way as pharmaceuticals.

Keywords: Physical activity, Exercise, Training, Chronic disease, Osteoarthritis

Core tip: A sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, whereas physical activity is preventive and effective in the management of chronic diseases. Osteoarthritis is one of the conditions that considerably benefits from exercise. General practitioners need to learn to prescribe physical training in the same way as they prescribe medication, using specific protocols for specific patients.