Information for the public

Advice for everyone with osteoarthritis

Advice for everyone with osteoarthritis

If you have osteoarthritis, you should be offered advice about exercise and (if relevant) losing weight, as well as information about osteoarthritis itself.

Information and advice

Your GP should talk with you about your osteoarthritis and also give you written information that you can take away and read. You should have the opportunity to discuss your condition and ask for information each time you visit your GP. This should help you to understand more about osteoarthritis and what you can do to help relieve pain and other symptoms (see also Sources of advice and support).

Your GP should describe the treatment options available to you (see Treatments and assistive devices and Drug treatments for more details). They should explain about the benefits and risks of the different treatments, and take into account any other conditions you have that could affect your osteoarthritis and its treatment.

If you have osteoarthritis that affects your hips, knees or feet, your GP or another healthcare professional should advise you on the best type of footwear for you.


Exercise has been shown to help people with osteoarthritis – this includes helping to reduce pain. Your GP should explain more about this to you. Exercise should include muscle strengthening as well as aerobic exercise (that is, moderate exercise that increases your heart rate – for example, swimming, cycling or brisk walking). The type of exercise that is best for you will depend on things like any other health problems you have, how much pain you are in, and what is available in your local area.

Losing weight

Being overweight can make your joint pain worse. If you are overweight or obese, you should be given advice and support to lose weight.

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