Osteoarthritis Knee Exercises
Being in constant pain can make you want to move as little as possible. Unfortunately, for chronic health issues like osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, this will only worsen your condition. Regular exercise is necessary to keep your pain low and your mobility high. Read more below to learn about why staying active is important and discover some knee exercises to keep you mobile and improve your range of motion. If you have osteoarthritis of the knee there are three main reasons moderate exercise can be beneficial to you:
- Inactivity leads to decreased functional abilities. This begins the downward spiral of improper form and loss of muscle mass.
- Joints become stiff when not moved through their normal range of motion. This leads to further inability to function and increased joint pain.
- Strength training increases both muscle and connective tissue surrounding joints. This causes movement to be less stressful, reducing pain.
Exercise can often reduce pain and improve joint mobility. Combined with Reflex knee injection treatments, exercise is an excellent way to decrease osteoarthritis symptoms.
Try these easy, simple exercises
You might not feel up to a jog or a trip to a gym, that’s OK. If the pain is stopping you, there are some simple exercises you can do at home to increase your range of motion and help with knee pain. It is always a good idea to check with your doctor before any change in an exercise regimen and consult a physical therapist to ensure proper form during exercise to prevent injury. If pain persists during any of these exercises, stop and consult your physician or a physical therapist.
Straight Leg Raise
A great exercise to start with is the Straight Leg Raise. Straight Leg Raises strengthen muscles supporting the knee which reduces pressure on the joint. This low-stress exercise can help promote proper walking form and reduce pain in the joints.
Single Leg Balance
Another simple exercise is the Single Leg Balance. This one is done exactly how it sounds. Stand near a counter or some other type of support in case you lose balance. Balance on one leg for as long as you are comfortable, then switch and balance on the other leg. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles in the hips and leg improving function and, of course, balance.
Go for a walk
This one seems obvious but is often neglected. The best way to maintain your range of motion and joint function is simply to use them. If the above exercises are easy for you, take a nice walk. If you need to make it more challenging find a nice hill you are comfortable walking.
How much is enough?
Exercise does not need to take up your entire day and should not cause you pain. Staying active for even ten minutes a day is a great start. You can increase your regimen as you and your physician or physical therapist feel comfortable. The great news is, as you start exercising, it becomes easier and easier. Instead of just stopping the downward spiral caused by being inactive, you will be on an upward spiral feeling better and better every day.
Visit our YouTube channel if you would like to check out even more exercises that you can do with minimal equipment right from your home.
Call us to learn more about a customized exercise plan and treatment program for your knee osteoarthritis: (503) 719-6783.