If you have knee arthritis, you know how debilitating the condition can be. Even everyday activities like walking or going up stairs can put a strain on your joints, leading to pain and discomfort. And, of course, the situation may feel even more overwhelming knowing that there is no cure for this condition.
But don’t despair! The good news is that there are simple exercises you can do to strengthen your knees and ease some of the symptoms of arthritis so that you can regain control over your joint health and quality of life.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some effective exercises that can help alleviate knee pain and improve your overall mobility.
Knee Arthritis: An Overview
Knee arthritis is a common condition that affects nearly a quarter of all adults globally, and the number is only rising. It’s caused by the wear and tear of cartilage in the knee joint, leading to inflammation, pain, and swelling. This condition is often associated with aging, but it can also be caused by excessive stress to the knee, overuse, traumatic injury, and poor knee mechanics.
Although there is no definitive cure for this condition – and the loss of cartilage is often non-reversible – there is a lot that you can do to strengthen the surrounding structures of the knee, regain your joint function, and boost your overall health. And, it all starts with exercise.
The Importance of Exercise To Manage Knee Arthritis
Regular exercise is an essential component of a well-rounded management strategy for arthritis – and, for more than a reason!
Exercise can be highly beneficial in managing knee arthritis discomfort because it boosts blood circulation around the damaged tissues in the knee, which helps reduce inflammation in your joints. Regular exercise also strengthens the muscles around your knee joint, providing more support and reducing stress on the joint.
What’s more, engaging in physical activity can address risk factors for arthritis like obesity. A healthy weight reduces the amount of pressure placed on the knee joints when standing or walking. Additionally, staying active can help improve overall joint mobility and flexibility while decreasing stiffness and pain.
6 Simple Exercises That Can Help You Manage Knee Arthritis
Arthritis is responsible for the fact that 10% of people aged 55 and over live with disabling knee pain. But knee pain does not have to be a normal part of aging. With the right exercise program, you can regain your knee function and restore your quality of life.
Although partnering with a specialized physician should be your first port of call, the exercises suggested below can help you get started today.
If you have knee arthritis, Straight-Leg Raise exercises from sitting or standing positions can be an effective way to strengthen your quadriceps muscles and improve your knee joint flexibility.
Start by sitting in a chair or standing with your back against a wall, keeping one leg straight while slowly lifting it off the ground and holding for 3-5 seconds before lowering it back down, repeat up to ten times before switching sides.
Step-ups are a great exercise for knee arthritis as they help to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee. To perform step-ups, place one foot on a step or platform and then, using your leg muscles, lift your other foot onto the step. You can practice this exercise by climbing up staircases at home.
Performing the sitting/standing exercise can help to strengthen your quadriceps muscles and increase mobility. To do this exercise, simply sit on a chair and stand up slowly without using your arms for support, then sit back down again.
Walking is a great exercise for people with knee arthritis as it’s low impact and can help keep the joints flexible. Additionally, regular walking can also improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. To enjoy the benefits of walking, consider strolling through an outdoor environment, such as a local park or beach.
Yoga and Tai Chi
When it comes to knee arthritis, mind-body activities such as yoga and tai chi can be great low-impact exercises to improve flexibility, balance, and strength.
These practices can help reduce joint pain and inflammation while enhancing overall well-being. Additionally, both of these disciplines focus on relaxation and stress management techniques through controlled breathing and mindfulness practices.
Stretching is an important part of managing knee arthritis pain. Tightness in the hamstrings and calves can cause extra stress on the knee joint, exacerbating arthritis pain. Incorporating hamstring and calf stretches into your daily routine can help relieve this tension and reduce knee pain.
Learn How To Prevent Surgery and Regain Your Joint Function
In conclusion, learning how to prevent surgery and regain joint function is essential to living a healthy and fulfilling life. By prioritizing daily exercises, maintaining a healthy weight, and seeking medical guidance when necessary, you can prevent the need for surgical interventions while improving your joint mobility.
Remember that every small effort towards maintaining your joint health counts. Don’t wait for joint pain to progress – start taking steps toward preventive measures today!