Arthritis is a common joint-related condition resulting in pain and swelling. This condition gets worse with age. There are two most common types of arthritis; osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Arthritis can affect the largest joints in the human body; more common among knee joints. Exercise and physical activity with arthritis are beneficial, they strengthen the muscles and joints.
How do exercises help with knee arthritis?
Performing any physical activity, especially with knee arthritis, exercises might feel overwhelming. However, strength exercises for OA or knee pain can be beneficial. It can help relieve the symptoms caused due to arthritis like pain, stiffness, and swelling. Following are some of the reasons behind exercises for arthritis:
- Improves joint’s range of motion
- Strengthens muscles which ultimately help the joint absorb shock
- Strong muscles provide better support to the joints
- Healthy cartilage
- Aids in weight loss
- Maintains bone strength
- Improves balance
What is the best exercise for arthritis knee pain?
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. It eases joint pain, strengthens leg muscles, and improves posture and flexibility.
Exercises for Arthritis of the knee:
1. Leg raises while lying down:
- Lie straight on the floor with your both arms on the sides and toes straight
- Straighten your legs, stretching the muscles, and then gently lift one leg up from the ground (several inches)
- Push your lower back down by tightening your stomach muscles
- Hold your posture for 5 seconds and slowly lower your leg.
- Repeat the same exercise on the other leg.
2. Calf stretch:
- Perform this exercise while standing
- Place a chair’s back in front of you for balance
- Step back with your left leg, slightly bending your right leg
- Slowly straighten your left leg behind you, and note to press your heel against the floor.
- You will feel the stretch in the left leg’s calf
- Hold this position for about 20 seconds
- Repeat the same thing on the other leg. Perform it twice on both legs.
3. Heel raises:
- Stand straight on the floor and use a chair’s back for support/balance.
- Gently lift your heels from the floor, raising up on your toes.
- Hold this position for 3 seconds and lower your heels back to the ground.
- Perform at least 10 sets of this exercise
4. Half squat:
- Stand straight on the floor with feet shoulder distance apart.
- Stretch your arms in front of you
- Slowly start bending your knees till you reach a half-sitting position.
- If you need, hold onto a chair for balance
- Make sure to keep the chest lifted and back straight; avoid leaning forward.
- Hold this position keeping your feet shoulder distance apart for 5 seconds
- Then come back to the initial position slowly,
5. Side leg raises:
- Place a chair in front for support and balance
- Stand tall, put your body weight on one leg and lift the other leg out to the side.
- Ensure to keep the stretched-out leg straight and muscles tensed
- Hold this stretch for 3 seconds and then gently lower the leg back to its initial position.
- Repeat the similar stretch on the other leg
- Switch legs after performing each step.
Knee Arthritis Exercises to Avoid:
What exercises are bad for arthritis? Following is the list of arthritis (e.g., osteoarthritis) exercises to be avoided, and be cautious while performing:
- Deep lunging
- Weight Lifting, etc
Arthritis Exercises for seniors:
Following are some of the gentle exercises for seniors with arthritis:
- Water workout
- Chair stand
- Hand stretching
When to seek medical attention?
If you have swelling, pain, and stiffness in your joints, consult a specialist. Book your detailed consultation and specialized assessment with highly qualified KKT Orthopedic Consultants in Lahore, Karachi, and other operational KKT centers across Pakistan. Get in touch with us through our patient care line for appointment booking.
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