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Staying active with knee arthritis

Updated on January 26, 2016

Which following is a great exercise for people with knee arthritis?

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A diagnosis of osteoarthritis does not mean that an active lifestyle must be stopped.

Osteoarthritis in your knees is not a cease and desist order. You do not need to find a chair and elevate your legs until the pain stops. In fact, a diagnosis of arthritis in the knees calls for quite the opposite. It is an invitation to change your routine and explore new stretching and exercise options that will allow you to stay fit while reducing the pain triggered by your osteoarthritis.

There is no doubt that the pain associated with osteoarthritis can become severe at times; however, the right amount of exercise along with the right type of exercise can actually help ease the pain and discomfort your osteoarthritis causes you.

How Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis Patients

While no one wants to live with the burden of knee pain or managing knee pain, osteoarthritis patients have several options to help them reduce their pain.

Audrey Lynn Millar, PT, PhD, an exercise physiologist and professor of Physical Therapy at Winston Salem State University, and author of Action Plan for Arthritis, explains that you need to exercise to strengthen the muscles around your arthritic joints.

Likewise, you need to stay mobile, so your joints don’t get stiff. Too much sitting around will not help reduce the knee pain brought on by osteoarthritis. In fact, it will make it worse. Even if exercise is too painful, you still need to stretch on a daily basis. Stretching keeps you limber and helps to increase range of motion, which takes pressure of the joints.

Furthermore, if you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, you need to try and reduce your weight. One pound of body weight is actually comparable to 4 pounds of pressure on your knees. If your have arthritis in your knees, you need to take measures to reduce the stress placed on your knees. You can’t allow your diagnosis become an excuse for not exercising. Instead, you need to explore your options and find the right types of exercises to do when you have arthritis in your knees.

Types of Exercises to Do When You Have Osteoarthritis

According to the National Library of Medicine, there are three very common and simple exercises you can do that will help ease the joint pain brought on by your osteoarthritis. These include:

  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Biking

Any type of water exercises increases muscle mass in your legs. Water exercises are easy on the joints while offering about 12 times more resistance than the same exercises done on land. This can increase the build up of muscle mass, which helps to absorb the stress placed on the joints.

The same is true of walking. With walking, you should be advised to walk on a flat surface like a side walk or a track. Walking in the woods or on rugged terrain is hard on the joints and could actually increase your pain levels. Also, be sure to wear a good walking shoes properly designed to absorb impact. Anything can take pressure off the joints is worth using. Try anything that allow you to remain active and pain free.

Biking using a stationary bike is another great way to build muscle mass in the legs. However, biking should be done with caution. Those suffering from knee cap or hip arthritis will not benefit from this type of exercise. In fact, biking can actually worsen the symptoms.

Another very proactive measure you can take to keep yourself active in spite of your knee osteoarthritis is to speak with a physical therapist. Therapists can easily design an exercise plan made up of some low impact exercises to extend range of motion. Exercises that help to strengthen your legs will do wonders for reducing the pain your osteoarthritis elicits in your joints.

While no one wants to live with osteoarthritis, it can be manageable. With the right balance of moderate exercise done the right way, you can reduce the pain in your joints and continue to live an active lifestyle.

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Stay in motion to keep your knees in motion.

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Biking


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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      my mother in law and hubby had this knee problem, thanks for the hub