Knee osteoarthritis is a physical condition where the cartilage between your joints starts wearing away. As this happens, the bones of your knee joint closely rub against each other. Since they are deprived of the shock-absorbing advantages of your cartilage, the constant rubbing results in knee pain, swelling, and stiffness, as well as decreased range of motion of the knee.
According to The Arthritis Foundation approximately 27 million individuals in America suffer from osteoarthritis, with the knees being commonly affected. If you’ve been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis, you might be looking for a solution to deal with your symptoms, and physical therapy is an ideal option for dealing with this often-debilitating condition.
Beginning with stretching exercises is ideal if you haven’t been active in a while, as they can help to significantly reduce your knee pain while increasing knee flexibility. You can perform yoga, Pilates or specific stretches recommended by your physical therapist as part of a daily stretching program.
These exercises help in increasing the strength of the muscles that support your knees. Performing at least 15 minutes of strengthening exercises each day will provide you with optimal results. Initially, your physical therapist may recommend using your own body weight as resistance, and as your strength improves, they may recommend adding weights or using weight machines to increase resistance.
Simple exercises like taking short walks or swimming can add an entirely different dimension to your overall training schedule. They’ll not just keep you fit, but also improve your overall strength and flexibility.
Here are some of the best exercises that can effectively treat knee osteoarthritis.
You can try stretching your quadriceps once in a while in order to ease the pain in your knee joints. Here’s how you can perform this exercise -
This moderately difficult exercise goes a long way in keeping your knees mobile and flexible. Here’s what you need to do in order to perform this exercise-
This stretch reduces your knee pain by loosening your tight hamstrings. You can perform this exercise by following these steps-
** In case you find this stretch extremely intense, try slightly bending your knee
Physical therapy, including stretching and strengthening exercises, as well as participating in some form of aerobic exercise can help to treat symptoms of knee osteoarthritis and keep you mobile. However, if your symptoms persist, a consultation with one of the physical therapists at Blue Hills Sports & Spine Rehabilitation can help to ensure that you’re performing the exercises correctly, and they can also recommend additional therapies such as manual therapy and modalities including ultrasound, interferential therapy, etc. that may further improve your symptoms.