Best Exercises for Arthritis of the Knee

Closeup of man grabbing knee while wearing knee brace

Knee arthritis is a very common type of degenerative joint disease. Along with chronic knee pain, patients with arthritis often feel like their knees are stiff or might lock up. Their knees could also feel unstable as if the joint could give out at any moment. While knee arthritis is a common condition, it doesn’t have to inhibit your lifestyle. Using exercise and stretching techniques, you can build up strength and flexibility in your knees. The team at Reflex Knee Specialists is available to diagnose arthritis of the knee and help you regain mobility from our locations in Portland, Oregon; Bellevue, Washington; and Tempe, Arizona. Here, we go over some stretches and exercises you can try to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis in the knee.


Leg Stretches for Knee Arthritis

Stretching the muscles in the legs can improve flexibility in and around the knee joint. Two good arthritis knee exercises for patients with osteoarthritis are:

Quadriceps Stretch

The quadriceps, or quads for short, are a group of muscles in the front of the thigh that support the knee. Use this exercise to stretch the quads:

  • Begin in a standing position.
  • Bend the left leg at the knee, bringing your heel up toward your buttocks.
  • Using your left hand, grab your left foot and hold it in place. Place your right hand on a chair or the wall to balance if needed.
  • Bring your left thigh back until it’s even with your right thigh.
  • Hold the position for at least 10 seconds.
  • Repeat the same stretch with your right left, using your right hand.
  • Repeat this stretch five to 10 times on each side.

Hamstring Stretch

The hamstrings are muscles that run along the back of the thigh from the hip to the knee. They help with bending the knee joint. To stretch the hamstrings:

  • Stand in front of a set of steps or stairs.
  • Place your right foot on the bottom step, with your heel flat on the surface.
  • Slowly bend forward at the waist while keeping your back straight.
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds before returning to a normal standing position.
  • Alternate your feet and repeat the stretch a few times on each side.

You should feel a stretch in the back of your thigh.


Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening exercises for the knee are easy to do at home or a physical therapy clinic since all you need is a chair and a resistance band.

First, sit in a chair with a resistance band wrapped around both front legs of the chair. Then place both feet inside the band, just above the ankles. With your left foot flat on the floor, straighten your right leg and hold it for five seconds. Relax, and then switch legs and repeat. Do several sets on each side.

Next, return to a normal seated position with the resistance band around both ankles. With your left foot planted on the floor, bend your right leg back so your right foot is underneath the chair. Hold the position for five seconds. Relax, then switch feet. Again, repeat the exercise several times on each side.


Exercise Education for Patients

At Reflex Knee Specialists, our experienced team provides exercise education for patients who want to stay active while preventing injuries. Targeted exercise education helps patients learn the proper warmup routines and stretches, as well as the correct form and techniques to use when playing a sport or exercising. Additionally, Reflex Knee Specialists offers resources like stretching and exercise videos. Even after completing a course of physical therapy, patients can continue to use these videos at home to care for their knee joints.


Make an Appointment with Reflex Knee Specialists

If you’re dealing with osteoarthritis in the knee, you don’t have to live with chronic pain and stiffness. While arthritis can’t be reversed, the right physical therapy and exercise can significantly improve your range of motion and quality of life. The providers at Reflex Knee Specialists offer a wide range of non-surgical interventions for conditions like knee arthritis. We have three convenient locations in Portland, Oregon; Bellevue, Washington; and Tempe, Arizona. Contact us or make an appointment to learn more today about how you can find relief from arthritis in the knee.

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