Mrs. Patil (45-years-old) works in a private company in the accounts department. Mrs. Patil is not an ardent lover of exercise and physical activities. Moreover, her job also doesn’t require much physical activity. For the past few days, she was suffering from knee pain. Initially, she took some over-the-counter painkillers to subside the pain. Though she got relieved from pain, the pain came back with a vengeance after some time. This time she consulted a doctor and she came to know that she is suffering from knee arthritis. The doctor recommended some tests and also advised her to do some knee arthritis exercises that will help her in managing the pain and inflammation along with the medications.
Arthritis physical exercise plays a pivotal role for people with arthritis. It enhances your strength and flexibility, minimizes joint inflammation, and helps you to overcome fatigue. Even moderate exercise may ebb your pain and help you in maintaining a healthy weight. When knee arthritis moves towards immobilizing you, exercise helps you in enhancing your mobility.
Why Exercise is Vital?
Exercise improves your overall health and fitness without affecting your joints. Some of the reasons for choosing exercise are:
- Fortifies the muscles around your joints
- Helps you maintain bone strength
- Makes you more energetic throughout the day
- Improves your night sleep
- Helps you in managing your weight
- Improves the quality of life
- Enhances your balance
Some people don’t want to incorporate exercise into their daily routine as they think it will exacerbate their joint pain and stiffness. But the reality is different. Lack of exercise will make your joints even more painful and rigid.
Osteoarthritis Physical Exercise
Your doctor or therapist will prescribe some of the exercises that will improve your joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation due to knee arthritis.
Some popular exercises are range-of-motion exercises, strengthening exercises, aerobic exercise, and other activities.
1. Range-Of-Motion Exercises
These exercises help you to overcome stiffness and enhance your ability to move your joints through their full range of motion. These exercises can be some movements like raising your hands over your head or rolling your shoulders forward and backwards. The most interesting thing is that you can perform these exercises regularly without much care and expertise.
2. Strengthening Exercises
These exercises will fortify your muscles and thereby, protect your joints. Weight training is the perfect example of a strengthening exercise. This type of exercise will help you in enhancing your muscle strength. But don’t do exercises in the same muscle groups for two days continuously. Make a gap between your workouts. If required, you may take an additional one day or two days off if your joints are inflamed or hurting.
While starting a strength training program, go for a three-day-a-week program for your improvement. But don’t do less than two days as this is your minimum requirement to maintain your gains.
3. Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic or endurance exercises will improve your overall fitness. These are beneficial for your heart, help you to maintain your weight, and improve your endurance and energy.
Start with low-impact aerobic exercises as they are much easier to perform. Some typical aerobic exercises are walking, bicycling, swimming, and using an elliptical machine. Try to perform at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise per week. Every day, you must spend at least 20 minutes on these exercises to improve your joints.
Moderately intense aerobic exercises are the best and safest. They are very much effective for your overall body as you can perform them most days of the week. To check whether you are in the moderate-intensity exercise zone or not, always start a conversation while exercising. This will enhance your breathing rate.
In a nutshell, any movement could be beneficial for your health irrespective of how small or big it is. Some daily activities like jogging in the park, walking, swimming, etc. are beneficial in managing your knee pain due to arthritis.
4. Other Activities
You can even perform some mild yoga activities like Tai Chi to enhance your balance, prevent falls, improve posture and synchronization. Always talk to your instructor or doctor before starting an exercise in your routine. Your trainer or instructor will discourage you from performing those positions or movements that can aggravate your pain.
Also Read: 11 Steps to Manage and treat your Arthritis
Knee Arthritis Exercises to Avoid
If you have knee arthritis, you may perform the below-mentioned exercises cautiously or you can avoid them.
- Deep lunging
- High-impact sports activities
- Repetitive jumping
How to Take Care of Your Joints and Knees if you have Arthritis
Follow the below-mentioned tips to take utmost care of your joints:
- Keep the Impact Low: Low impact exercises like stationary cycles, elliptical trainers, or water exercises will keep your joint stress minimal when you move.
- Apply Heat: If your joints are paining or inflamed, apply heat to relieve the pain. Heat treatments like warm towels, hot packs, or a shower (for about 20 minutes) are beneficial for your painful joints.
- Move Gently: You should be very cautious during your joint movements. Do warm-up exercises like range-of-motion exercises for 5-10 minutes before starting your workout.
- Go Slowly: Start with easy movements. Exercise with slow and easy movements. If your joints are in pain, take a break. If you have noticed any swelling or inflammation during your workouts, talk to the trainer immediately.
- Ice Afterwards: If your joints are swelling, apply an ice pack to your joints for up to 20 minutes.
The Bottom Line
Do exercises regularly to manage your knee arthritis. But before starting any exercise, talk to your doctor or healthcare adviser and then, incorporate a set of exercises into your daily schedule. If you experience any pain or discomfort, report to your trainer or instructor immediately. Always be perseverant and enjoy the best results of your commitment and dedication.