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3 Types of Exercises to Help Manage Knee Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis of the knee occurs when two types of cartilage at the knee wear away. The articular cartilage is the cartilage that lines the bones that make up your knee joint to help decrease friction. The fibrous cartilage acts as a shock absorber at the knee. This is also called the meniscus. Once the cartilage has worn away, the bones move closer together and can rub against each other during knee movements. This can lead to painful and sometimes audible popping, grinding or clicking with movement. This pain may cause you to shy away from activity when in fact movement is what is best for the pain. Here are some types of exercises that can be safely performed when suffering from knee arthritis.

Flexibility Exercises

For some people, the pain from arthritis may make you feel like you don’t want to move. But the less you move the more stiff your joints and muscles will become, which will lead to more pain. It is very important to stretch the muscles in your hip, knees and ankles to maintain muscle flexibility and to keep the knee joint from getting stiff.  

Aerobic Exercises

When managing arthritis, it is important to stick with aerobic exercises that are low impact to prevent any further joint damage. High impact exercises like running and jumping may be too much for your knee due to the amount of force these activities place on the knee. Exercises that are low impact and better for the knee joint include the bike, the elliptical, or walking. These lower impact exercises can help to provide some lubrication to the knee joint. The lubrication can help decrease pain and stiffness.

Strengthening Exercises 

Bones help to provide stability for the body during various movements and activities. Arthritis starts to limit the amount of stability that the bones can provide. Because of this, it is important to improve the strength of muscles surrounding your knee. Strengthening these muscles will help to decrease the stress placed on the knee joint. It is important to include exercises that focus on specific muscles as well as functional movements. 

Determining the right program that will work best for you can be challenging. Forever Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness can help to create a program that focuses on your flexibility, aerobic, and strengthening needs. We can also provide more information on manual  Give us a call today for a free 10-15 minute consultation or to schedule your full evaluation. 

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