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Nicholas A. DiNubile, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and orthopedic consultant for the Philadelphia 76ers professional basketball team and the Pennsylvania Ballet, believes that individuals do not have to accept joint pain as a normal part of aging. "Too little exercise, or too much, can get you into trouble, and I believe there are tremendous things we can do to both live longer and live stronger. Although tissue changes are inevitable, problems are not," said Dr. DiNubile.
Therefore, exercise can have a positive effect on preventing joint problems. Regular, moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day for 5 days, or 20 minutes of vigorous exercise 3 days a week, can curb joint pain. Research has shown that the prevalence of joint pain among adults who exercise regularly is 28.9%, compared with 44.5% for individuals who lead an inactive lifestyle. Increasing muscle strength as well as maintaining proper body weight can reduce the stress to the already damaged joint and even reduce pain.