See our section on exercise. Unfortunately, much more research needs to be done. Weight bearing exercise does not cause arthritis but how it affects existing arthritis is unknown. It certainly makes sense that repetitive weight bearing exercise (running for example) for someone with hip or knee arthritis could make things worse. It certainly can cause more pain. I would continue exercise but focus on non-weight bearing activities such as swimming, elliptical trainers, etc.
About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.
Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University