Dr. O’Brien on Joint Health: “Movement is Medicine”

For years, osteoarthritis was thought to be “wear and tear” of the joints, a natural consequence of aging.

Dr O’Brien, a professor in physiotherapy, sat down with Judy Bailey to dispel this myth and explain how movement can soothe our joints.

“My own experience with a rugby injury led me to a profound realization—the importance of continual movement for joint health,” Dr. O’Brien shares.

After dislocating his shoulder, he learned first-hand that “if I didn’t keep moving it, it actually started to feel sore and achy again.”

Dr. O’Brien explains that the body responds to joint use with repair mechanisms similar to how muscles strengthen from exercise.

“The body will naturally respond to that in a positive way,” he states, emphasising that movement facilitates strengthening rather than exacerbating joint wear.

Dr O’Brien is on a mission to shift the narrative from avoidance of activity to encouragement of exercise as a fundamental treatment for osteoarthritis.

“It’s very hard to convince somebody to exercise if they think they’re going to wear their joint out,” he notes, citing a significant study from 2003 that demonstrated the unequivocal benefits of physical activity for those with joint pain.

Addressing common misconceptions, Dr. O’Brien recalls a misleading campaign that likened joint pain to having glass in the joints, which only instilled fear.

“I remember challenging the people who did that because it’s massively misleading. It sticks in people’s brains, but for all the wrong reasons,” he criticises.

Conclusively, Dr. O’Brien’s message is clear and hopeful: “Movement is medicine. Even if it’s only two minutes you can do, start with two minutes and build up. Anything is better than nothing. The best exercise is the one you actually want to do.”

Through these insights, Dr. O’Brien not only challenges outdated beliefs but also encourages a healthier, more active lifestyle for those affected by osteoarthritis.

Psychologist: Why We Feel Groggy After A Poor Night’s Sleep

Sleep is essential for our cognitive health, according to psychologist Emma Hockley. In a recent conversation with Judy Bailey, Emma explains how sleep has the power to detox our brains – but only if we get enough of it.

Emma Hockley is a psychologist working within multidisciplinary teams in the public sector and in private practice.

Emma Hockley is a registered psychologist with a rich background in clinical practice. With extensive experience both in New Zealand and previously in the UK, Emma’s holistic approach underscores the critical interplay between lifestyle and mental health.

Hockley says, “Sleep is our brain’s housekeeper.” At night, it’s crucial that our minds tidy up, sorting through the day’s thoughts. This helps us start the next day with a clean slate.

Without enough sleep, we wake up with leftover mental clutter. “You kind of wake up and you’ve still got all that stuff in your head,” Hockley notes. This makes it tough to face a new day.

Recent studies published in Nature Communications in 2022 found that optimal sleep enhances alertness and significantly improves executive functions like problem-solving and decision-making.

A diagram illustrating the sleep cycles during the night, showing five cycles composed of different stages: Wake, REM (Rapid Eye Movement), and Non-REM stages 1 through 4. The graph uses color blocks to differentiate each stage, with Wake and REM stages in orange, light sleep stages in lighter blue, and deep sleep stages in darker blue.
This chart illustrates the sequence of sleep cycles throughout the night, highlighting the transitions between REM, light, and deep sleep stages critical for cognitive and psychological rejuvenation as discussed by Emma Hockley.

Another study from 2023, featured in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, reveals how sleep promotes brain health by facilitating the removal of neurotoxic waste through cerebrospinal fluid and melatonin rhythms. Participants reported less brain fog and more mental clarity with better sleep quality.

Hockley, with her extensive experience in psychology, underscores the importance of these findings. “Sleep clears out the toxins that build up in the brain,” she adds, highlighting the physical processes behind our mental refreshment.

For those struggling with daily stress, Hockley advises prioritizing quality sleep to maintain mental clarity and emotional stability.

Her guidance, supported by cutting-edge research, serves as a powerful reminder of sleep’s crucial role in our health and daily performance.

For anyone feeling overwhelmed by daily stress, Hockley’s advice is to prioritize good sleep. “During night time, we need a certain amount of sleep to kind of file all those thoughts away,” she explains.

Judy Bailey recently overcame her own struggles with sleep. You can read her story here.

Exercises for Joint Pain: Do They Work?


  • Performing exercises can reduce arthritis symptoms by over 40% and improve joint function.
  • Recommended activities include walking, biking, swimming, and aiming for 150 minutes of activity per week.
  • Knee exercises safe for arthritis include leg lifts and small squats done slowly and with proper form.
  • Morning stretches, such as neck tilts, shoulder rolls, wrist bends, and ankle circles, can alleviate joint stiffness for arthritis sufferers.
  • Low-impact training like walking and swimming benefits arthritic joints by strengthening muscles and easing pain.
  • Hand exercises can manage arthritis pain and maintain finger joint flexibility.
  • Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in managing chronic joint issues, reducing the need for medication or surgery, and improving mobility.
  • For sacroiliac joint stability, especially in pregnant women, pelvic tilts and bridging exercises are effective.

Do your joints groan when you rise? You're not alone! I've found exercises that really ease joint pain. Many folks swear by them to get moving without that "ouch" every step. Ready for relief? Stick with me! We'll explore simple, safe moves aimed at knee, hip, and overall joint health. You'll learn not just which exercises can help, but why they work. Let's dive into routines that could bring back the spring in your step and keep it there!

What Are the Best Exercises for Joint Health?

How Can Joint Health Exercises Alleviate Arthritis Symptoms?

Yes, joint health exercises can help with arthritis symptoms. These workouts make your joints stronger and more flexible. They also help with pain and make moving easier. Over 58 million adults in the US feel this pain every day. Health experts advise that being active can ease this pain a lot. With the right exercises, you could see more than 40% less pain. Plus, these exercises improve how your joints work and make you feel better.

Walking is a great start. Biking and swimming are good, too. These are all easy on your joints. They're perfect for people with arthritis. Try to be active for 150 minutes each week. That's the goal for adults with arthritis.

Classes and workshops can teach you more about staying active. They show how to handle arthritis pain. These are held in many places, like your local community center. The more you know, the better you'll cope with arthritis.

What Knee Strengthening Routines Are Safe for Arthritis Patients?

Knee routines that are safe include leg lifts and small squats. Keeping the focus on movements that don't twist or stress the knees too much. Stronger knees mean less pain. It's safe for people with arthritis. You can do these moves at home or in a class with others. The main thing is to go slow and keep your form right. This way, you'll

Can Morning Stretches Reduce Joint Stiffness?

What Gentle Stretches Can Ease Morning Stiffness for Arthritis Sufferers?

Do gentle stretches help morning stiffness? Yes, they do. Gentle stretches warm up your joints, easing the stiffness you often feel in the morning. It's like oiling a creaky door. Slow, careful moves ease the joints into action. This helps if arthritis makes waking up a tight and painful ordeal.

Start with simple neck tilts and shoulder rolls. Move to wrist bends and ankle circles. Work your way through each joint. Hold each stretch for a short time, like 20 to 30 seconds. Do what feels good and don't push too hard.

How Does Low-Impact Training Benefit Arthritic Joints?

Can low-impact workouts improve arthritic joints? Absolutely. Activities such as walking and swimming are easy on your joints. They strengthen the muscles around them too. This support can mean less pain.

The key is steady, regular effort. Aim for 150 minutes a week. You can split this into 30-minute walks, five days a week. It's not just about easing the pain. It also lifts your mood. An active body makes for a happier you!

Are There Specific Arthritis Hand Workouts to Manage Pain?

Are arthritis hand workouts good to manage pain? Yes, they're very helpful. Hand exercises can reduce pain and help keep your finger joints flexible. S

How Does Physical Therapy Help with Chronic Joint Issues?

What Role Does Physiotherapy Play in Managing Chronic Joint Issues?

Physiotherapy helps manage pain. It can cut down on the need for drugs or surgery. It makes it easier to move and get through the day. This treatment aims to ease pain and help you function, move, and live better.

You might wonder if physiotherapy can make a difference for those with chronic joint issues. The answer is yes; it helps a lot! Expert care through physiotherapy can boost how well you move. It reduces the pain in your joints.

If your joints hurt all the time, a physio can help. They use a plan made just for you. It may include methods like massage, heat therapy, and exercises. The right plan can ease your pain day by day.

For arthritis, over 58 million in the US fight this fight. Physiotherapy is key in winning this battle. It can offer a 40% boost in how you feel and move. That's a big deal!

Which Sacroiliac Joint Stability Techniques Are Most Effective?

When talking about the sacroiliac joint, stability is the goal. This is even more crucial for soon-to-be moms dealing with SI joint pain. So, what works best? A mix of strength and flexibility routines works like a charm.

Pelvic tilts and bridging are top moves for sacroiliac joint stability. They make the muscles around your


In this post, we talked about the best moves for keeping your joints happy. We covered exercises for joint health, including knee and hip routines. We also looked at morning stretches and low-impact workouts that help with stiffness in your body. Plus, we dived into how physical therapy can ease chronic joint pain. Remember, gentle moves and the right stretches make a big difference for your joints. Keep moving and stay strong!

Judy Bailey’s Bold Move: Shattering Ageing Stereotypes 

TV icon Judy Bailey teams up with Koru Nutrition to challenge ageing stereotypes and transform the ageing experience for New Zealanders through a joint online campaign. 

As she enters her seventh decade the journalist and former news anchor has become aware that society’s attitudes towards older people need, in her words, ‘a rev up.’ 

The number of older adults in New Zealand is expected to double over the next 20 years, so the conversation surrounding ageing is more crucial than ever. 

With a focus on holistic wellness and a commitment to excellence, Koru Nutrition aims to empower individuals to take charge of their health as they age. 

The New Zealand-owned company specialises in natural health products, including topical creams and supplements.   

Koru believes that changing our views and experiences of ageing is essential to prevent a looming health crisis, as highlighted by Managing Director Andre Linton: 

“Ageing well doesn’t just impact ourselves, it allows us to be independent, healthier and an active part of our family and community.” 

“We’re thrilled to work with Judy as she interviews the experts, uncovering the practical ways we can take charge of our own ageing journey.” 

In this online campaign to revolutionise how we perceive and experience ageing, Judy Bailey speaks candidly about the role the media plays in perpetuating negative stereotypes: 

“Once you pass 65, people tend to think it’s a downhill slide to the Zimmer frame. But that’s far from the truth; we all age differently. Many of us remain physically active, paddleboarding, cycling, and even tramping well into our 70s.” 

“Being proactive is key to our health and ageing. Diet, exercise, and relationships all play significant roles.” 

As part of this project, Judy will interview experts, equipping people with practical steps to age well, publishing the content on Koru Nutrition’s website and social media pages: 

“I’ll collaborate with professionals and the Koru Nutrition team to bring the latest research on healthy ageing to the forefront.” 

“I’ll be speaking with experts from various fields, including physiotherapists, nutritionists, chiropractors, researchers, and scientists.” 

When asked why she chose Koru Nutrition, Judy responded:

“I love Koru Nutrition because it’s a small, family-owned New Zealand company whose ethos aligns with my own.”

“They prioritise quality products with the best ingredients and promote a holistic approach to ageing. I believe that if you can age naturally, that’s all for the better.”

“I’m eager to discover new insights and share them with you as we embark on this journey together.” 

Join the movement and stay informed with Judy’s mission to change the way New Zealand views and experiences ageing at https://koruhealth.co.nz/join

About Judy Bailey: 

Judy Bailey is a celebrated New Zealand television presenter, journalist, and media personality with a career spanning several decades. Known for her warmth, professionalism, and community involvement, Judy has become a household name and a respected figure in the media industry. Judy remains committed to using her profile to raise awareness about important social issues and support charitable causes. 

About Koru Nutrition:  

Koru Nutrition is a leading New Zealand-based natural health products company, committed to improving health and wellbeing through a range of high-quality topical creams and dietary supplements. 

Locally owned by Andre and Molly Linton, Koru Nutrition products are stocked in pharmacies throughout the country. 

For more information, visit https://korunutrition.co.nz/