Written By: Chloe Wilson, BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy
Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board
Exercises for arthritis are one of the most effective ways of reducing the pain, stiffness and disability so often associated with knee arthritis.
For the knee to be able to work properly it needs to be able to fully bend and straighten and have good muscle strength, control and balance. All of these tend to be affected by knee arthritis.
Arthritis is a common condition, usually affecting people over the age of 65. In the US, it is the leading cause of disability. There are a number of treatment options that can make a big difference and exercises for arthritis are one of the most important of these, and have been shown to be one of the most effective.
Here we will concentrate on movement exercises to increase how
much you can bend and straighten your knee and a balance exercise for arthritis. For
advanced exercises, visit the other sections.
These movement exercises for arthritis are a great way to maintain and improve the mobility of the knee. It is common for the knee to get stiff with arthritis.
These exercises for arthritis will help to prevent this from happening and help you regain movement if the knee is already getting stiff.
Intro: One of the most simple yet effective exercises for arthritis to do first thing in the morning to loosen your knee up before you get up – morning stiffness is a classic feature of knee arthritis.
Top Tip: Place a smooth board or a plastic bag underneath your foot so you have a slippery surface making it easier to move
Long arcs are one of the best exercises for arthritis to do anytime you are sitting down for more than twenty minutes to prevent stiffness setting in and the associated discomfort on first standing up. It helps increase mobility in the knee and also strengthens the knee at the same time.
Top Tip: You can modify this exercise to improve knee flexion -
The knee needs to be able to twist slightly
to move properly and this rotation movement is often one of the first
things lost with arthritis. You can regain it with this exercise for arthritis.
Good balance is really important to prevent knee injuries, and is often reduced with arthritis. As a quick test to see whether you would benefit from balance exercises for arthritis, try standing on one leg with your eyes closed. If you can’t do it for one minute, you would benefit from this exercise. This exercise for arthritis helps your body learn the subtle adjustments needed for good balance.
These exercises for arthritis are a great place to start but it can also really help to do strengthening exercises to build up the knee muscles and reduce the force going through the knee joint.
Once these exercises for arthritis become easy, you can progress on to more advanced exercises.
If you want to know more about knee arthritis have a look at the following articles:
Page Last Updated: 11/09/21
Next Review Due: 11/09/23
March 12, 2023
January 18, 2023
Knee Pain On Stairs
January 16, 2023