Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It can affect any joint, though most frequently affecting the knees. Staying active helps improve symptoms and pain related to knee osteoarthritis. Moving a part of the body in pain can seem daunting; some easy exercises are just what you need to get going.
Low Impact, Easy Exercises Beneficial for OA of the Knee
Along with symptom relief, exercising is also vital to knee functionality. Staying active helps in maintaining full motion of the joint. Exercise strengthens the muscles of the knee for better support and shock absorption.
Low impact exercises are perfect for knee OA because they increase flexibility and strength with minimal stress on the joint. Always warm-up for at least five minutes prior, aiming for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Leg Raise (laying down)
- Lie flat on your back on the floor or bed with your arms at your sides, toes up.
- Keep your leg straight and slowly lift it several inches.
- Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly lower leg.
- Repeat, then switch to the other leg, doing one set of four for each leg.
Hamstring Stretch (laying down)
- Lie with back on floor or bed with both legs bent.
- Slowly lift one leg, still bent, and bring your knee back toward your chest.
- Link your hands behind your thigh, not your knee, and straighten your leg.
- Pull your straight leg back toward your head until you feel the stretch.
- Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, then slowly bend your knee and lower your leg. Do this one time for each leg.
- Half-SquatStand with your feet shoulder-distance apart and stretch your arms out in front of you.
- Slowly bend your knees until you’re in a half-sitting position. Hold on to a chair for balance, if necessary.
- Keep your back straight and chest lifted without bending forward.
- With your feet flat on the floor, hold for 5 seconds, then slowly stand back up. Repeat ten times, working up to three sets of ten.
- Stand between two chairs and hold on to them for balance.
- Lift one leg about 12 inches and hold it out in front of you.
- Slowly, keeping your back straight, bend the other leg and lower your body a few inches, as if you were about to sit in a chair. Don’t cross the lifted leg in front of the bent leg.
- Hold for 5 seconds and straighten back up.
- Repeat and switch legs to complete one set of four leg dips for both legs. Try to work up to three sets.
Advancing Options for Knee OA
Walking and water aerobics are other great exercises for knee osteoarthritis. While staying active is beneficial, treatment options may be necessary in more advanced cases. New therapies are under evaluation in research studies that may potentially improve the detection and treatment of OA.
To learn more about knee osteoarthritis studies enrolling here at Charlottesville Medical Research, call (434) 817-2442, or visit our website.