Exercise for Osteoarthritis of the Knee?
When your knee joints creak and crackle and feel stiff, the last thing you may want to do is work out. As counterintuitive as it seems, exercise and the management of osteoarthritis pain go hand in hand. Scientific evidence demonstrates that lubricin, a vital joint fluid, is stimulated by physical activity. This lubricating fluid is not only necessary for mobility, but also for the support of healthy cartilage. Because osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative condition that cannot be cured, lubrication to the knee joint is crucial.
There are several types of exercise patients with osteoarthritis may engage in. Walking may be right near the top. According to research, daily walking can positively affect physical function, decreasing the limitations one may suffer with stiff joints. Walking quickly enhances function, and also minimizes risk for future problems.
While walking is recommended, it is not what tops the list for knee-strengthening exercise. Resistance training has been recognized as one of the best ways to control pain. Ideally, a few strengthening exercises will be combined with light aerobic activity and stretching for maximum effect.
Strengthening Made Easy
The good news about knee-strengthening exercises is that you don't have to employ a personal trainer, or even join the gym, to get the benefits you need. A few key exercises that focus on the knee can be performed right at home. The X-factor is . . . you have to do them on a regular basis. Some people will need to hire a trainer to keep them consistent.
Knee extension strengthens the muscles on the front of the thighs. All you need is a chair and a resistance band. The band gets tied to one of the chair legs. The other end is tied around your ankle. Begin with the band taut and your need at a 90 degree angle, foot on the floor. Then, slowly straighten the leg and return it to the floor. Repeat up to 15 times before switching legs.
One of the greatest advantages of squats is that they strengthen muscles throughout the legs and buttocks. Start by standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Then lower your buttocks, like you do when you sit in a chair. Your back should be straight. Raise back up to a standing position. Repeat up to 15 times.
You are not on your own to manage osteoarthritis. For medical care focused on your knees, call our Paramus, NJ office at 201-291-4040.