Ep 12: Osteoarthritis, Movement Optimism, and Dumb Fitness Rules

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If joints wear out, how can "motion be lotion"?

Welcome to the confusing and conflicting world of exercise, health, and rehab *eye roll*.

This topic came from a Facebook group I'm in. In this group and others, it's not uncommon to see questions like this:

"My doctor diagnosed me with arthritis in my knees today. And I'm only 34! He told me no more powerlifting or running, which are my two favorite activities. I'll be doing PT for the next month and getting a recumbent stationary bike. I feel like I'm losing part of my identity - I am a powerlifter. Any other women who LOVE lifting heavy things that cannot lift heavy anymore?"

Do you think we should avoid certain activities just because we have osteoarthritis? Do certain exercises and heavy lifting, for example, make knee OA worse? 

Why is it called "wear and tear arthritis"? Are we wearing out our joints by moving or loading them? 

I invited expert physiotherapist and clinical educator, Greg Lehman on to the show to give his take on osteoarthritis, pain science, and movement optimism. We also talk about some of the dumb fitness/rehab rules out there and we leave you with some reassuring advice on how to help yourself stay healthy, strong, and resilient.


Get the Transcript:

What You Will Learn:

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 01:29 Why is OA called "wear and tear"?
  • 03:59 Benefits vs Risk of Loading Osteoarthritis
  • 04:49 Is OA a disease process?
  • 05:33 Can children get OA?
  • 07:33 How can we increase body trust?
  • 10:25 The cool Messier (2021) paper
  • 13:01 Is it okay to poke into pain?
  • 14:08 How to speak to kids about pain
  • 16:31 Sensitivity vs damage
  • 18:53 Is the tide shifting toward optimism?
  • 21:43 The cup analogy
  • 23:46 Does having a high BMI wear out your joints faster?
  • 26:12 Dumb rules, too many rules
  • 30:55 To the person afraid to get started
  • 34:11 Most info is BS, but most people don't realize it
  • 35:35 More dumb stuff: bounding and hopping screening, and don't stretch tendons
  • 38:01 Coaches: what how you say stuff!
  • 40:58 Greg's course: Reconciling Biomechanics with Pain Science
  • 42:56 When does biomechanics matter?
  • 48:01 Parting wisdom: many roads

Photo of Greg Lehman teaching

About Dr. Greg Lehman:

Greg is a physiotherapist and clinical educator with two decades of experience helping people with all things related to pain, injury and performance. He currently sees patients in a small boutique clinic in Toronto Canada and online. He hopes to continue traveling the Globe soon to teach my popular Reconciling Biomechanics with Pain Science course to health and fitness professionals, but in the meantime you can take it online.

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