Can mixed martial arts help in managing osteoarthritis and sciatica?

Q. Is it advisable to do mixed martial arts for osteoarthritis and sciatica?

Answered by
Jay Indravadan Patel
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 28, 2023

Hello doctor,

I currently suffer from osteoarthritis and sciatica in my lower back. I have been told by a personal trainer that taking up mixed martial arts classes would be good for my conditions. Can you confirm whether this is correct?



Welcome to

What I feel is mixed martial arts would damage the tissue more for now until we come up to some level of muscle strength. I would advise you to focus on some exercises which are listed below. This exercise should be gradually increased from week to week and continued for 12 to 15 weeks. First set of exercise to lay on your back and performed for both the lower limbs.

1. Straight leg raise.

2. Pressing the knee down keeping the leg straight.

3. Bridging exercise.

4. Leg raise two inches of floor sideways.

5. Leg raise and circle-clockwise and anticlockwise.

6. Both the legs up and down.

The second set of exercise to lay on your stomach and performed for both lower limbs.

1. Knee bend and lifting it up.

2. Knee bend and lifting it up two inches and sideways.

3. Leg straight up and performing circle- clockwise and anticlockwise.

4. Fold the leg and try to lift both the knees up and down.

The third set of exercise is to lay on your side and perform for both legs one after another.

1. Straight leg raise.

2. Circle- clockwise and anticlockwise.

Please follow this routine as it will help stabilize the core and also will help improve the lower limb muscles to become stronger. Please contact after a week so we can figure out which exercise is difficult and which needs modification. Please do 20 repetitions of each movement. We will reassess and plan the next course of action.

The Probable causes:

Wear and tear.

Investigations to be done:


Differential diagnosis:

Back pain.

Probable diagnosis:

Disc disease with OA.

Treatment plan:


Preventive measures:


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