Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Are there exercises you can do for osteoarthritis of the knee?


It is essential for the health of your knee for you to continue engaging in ongoing exercise and physical activity, even if you experience pain related to osteoarthritis. In fact, there are certain exercises you should regularly engage in to strengthen your knee and increase your joint flexibility. Overall, exercise and physical activity will help alleviate your knee pain and swelling and decrease your risk of further cartilage deterioration due to osteoarthritis [source: AAPM&R]. It's important to consult your doctor or physical therapist to determine an exercise plan that best suits your needs. Recommended knee exercises depend on several factors, including your overall health and the severity of your osteoarthritis [source: AAPM&R].

An exercise program for osteoarthritis of the knee should include four components: strengthening exercises, aerobics, range-of-motion exercises and balance exercises [source: NIAMS]. First, strengthening exercises help strengthen the muscles around your knee joint. Incorporate knee-strengthening exercises into your workout plan by using weights or exercise bands. Second, it's important to engage in exercise that raises your heart rate and increases your overall circulation. You may want to try low-impact exercise programs, such as walking, swimming and water aerobics. Third, make sure your exercise program includes range-of-motion exercises. These exercises keep your joints limber and loose. Fourth, balance and agility exercises are vital for overall good health and everyday stability [source: NIAMS].

Exercise is important for your quality of life! If you remain immobile, you will likely experience increased knee stiffness and pain [source: AAPM&R]. Unfortunately, with increased knee stiffness and pain, you may grow even more wary of doing exercise. You may even begin to find it hard to do activities of daily living, like walking to the store or going up and down stairs. You can stop this downward spiral now by committing to a regular exercise program, which includes exercises that specifically address your osteoarthritis of the knee.


More to Explore