There are more than 3 million cases per year of knee arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis of the knee. Nearly one in two adults will develop osteoarthritis of the knee in their lifetime. This degenerative form of arthritis commonly develops as a result of the wear and tear of aging, gradually breaking down the cartilage in the joints of the knee. However, it can also occur as a result of a traumatic injury to the joint. Although this condition can be debilitating, you can still perform safe workouts to strengthen your muscles and help with the pain. Regular exercise with knee arthritis can relieve the stiffness and swelling associated with the condition.
Exercises To Help Knee Arthritis
Walking is a low-impact exercise that is fairly easy on the knees – great for individuals with knee arthritis. However, don’t let that fool you, because it is also a weight bearing exercise that in fact strengthens muscles and builds up bones to help you combat knee arthritis. When you first begin walking, make sure you start at your own comfortable pace. Then gradually continue to pick up speed when you feel it is necessary. Do the same thing with distance. Find a manageable distance and then challenge yourself to go an extra mile without overexerting yourself. Also, make sure you have the right gear when going on walks, such as well built and fitted shoes and comfortable socks.
Participating in water exercises is a great workout if you have knee arthritis. Water exercises put less stress on your knees and still make your body work harder. All exercises in the water increase your knee flexibility and strengthen your muscles, which is necessary if you have osteoarthritis of the knee. Water exercises can include walking in the shallow end of the pool or gentle water aerobics with water weights.
A simple way to combat knee arthritis pain is to increase knee flexibility and overall body flexibility. There are two different leg stretches that are very important to coping with pain and increasing mobility in your knee. The first stretch is a basic leg stretch. Sitting down extend one leg out on the ground fully extended and bring your other leg into a bend with your hands at the side of your hips. Alternate both legs until both hamstrings feel fully stretched out.
The other stretch involves lying on your back and stretching out your hamstring. While on your back, keep one leg bent and extend one leg straight into the air while pulling on your thigh – this will increase the flexibility of your knee. Alternate both legs until you feel your hamstring is fully stretched.
Leg Strength Exercises
In a world of increasing fitness knowledge there are a plethora of ways to work out your lower body, but in cases of knee arthritis you are limited. However, there are three basic, easy and functional workouts you can do to strengthen the muscles around your knee on your own time, at home, or in the gym. The first exercise is laying leg raises. While laying on your back keep your legs fully extended just off the ground and continue to raise both at the same time, slowly bringing them back down. This will stimulate the quadriceps muscles that connect to the knee.
The other two workouts are a variation of squats. The first one is called the half squat. Squat as if you are going to do a full squat with your feet shoulder width apart, but only go down half way. This way you are not overexerting yourself, but you’re still getting a great workout for your legs. The second type of squat is the one-leg dip, which is also called the one leg squat. Start by getting two benches or chairs to put your hands on, keeping one foot on the ground and the other leg extended straight out. Sit down as if you are squatting and then come back up and do as many repetitions as you can, alternating your legs. Everyone is different so start out with small and move your way up, as you get more comfortable with each exercise.
Knee Pain Management in NJ
If you would like to learn more about safe workouts for your knee or are experiencing knee pain, contact Premier Pain Centers to schedule an appointment. We have offices located in both Central and South Jersey for your convenience. Our fellowship-trained doctors will help you treat your knee arthritis and relieve your pain. Contact us today for information: (732) 380-0200.