Does osteoarthritis of the knee cause you pain and stop you from doing the activities you want to do?
The knee is one of the joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis. This condition can cause pain, reduced range of movement and can prevent people from being active in their daily lives.
If you do nothing about the osteoarthritis in your knee, in most cases, it will worsen, cause more pain and disable you further by reducing your ability to walk and stay active.
While not much can be done about the arthritis, working on the muscles around your knee can help reduce pain, improve range of movement and keep you active.
If you suffer from pain or other symptoms related to arthritis of the knee, these three exercises may help lessen the pain and keep you active.
The squat is a great way to strengthen your quadriceps muscles, which help to support the knee. The squat is also great because you can scale it to your level of ability. A full squat is as far down as you can go, but you can do a half or a three-quarter squat. As you progress you can start to add weights to your squats. You can also do a squat to a chair if you’re not comfortable doing squats.
Start with your feet about hip to shoulder width apart. Bend forward at your lower back, but keep it straight, this will push your bottom backwards. Bend your knees and squat towards the ground. Go as far as you’re comfortable and then stand back up. Keep your lower back straight, your chest up and your knees tracking outwards. Start by doing 10 repetitions 2–3 times a day and build from there.
- Calf stretches
Stretching your calf muscles will help to loosen them, which can take pressure off the knees and reduce pain.
Stand facing a wall with one foot forward about hip width apart. Keeping your back leg straight and your back heel on the ground lean forward into the wall. You should feel this stretch towards the top of your calf muscle. To stretch the lower portion of the calf muscle, bring the back foot forward a bit, but still back from the front foot. Now bend through both knees and lean towards the wall. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds and repeat at least 3–5 times a day for both legs.
- Foot to glutes
Strengthening your hamstrings can help to support the knee and thus reduce pain.
Start by lying on your stomach. Now bring your foot towards your bottom. Squeeze and hold this position for 3 seconds, then straighten your leg out back to the starting position. Repeat this movement 10 times on both sides, and do that twice a day. After a while, you can progress this exercise by holding for longer, adding a weight to your ankle or using a resistance band.
By doing these exercises regularly over time, you should notice a reduction in arthritic pain in your knee. If not, you may need the help of a professional. To book an assessment call our Manly Vale clinic on (02) 9907 0144 or our city clinic on (02) 8072 7278.