Knee Osteoarthritis: Why Exercise is Crucial

by Jun 13, 2018Exercises, Health and Wellness, Injuries

Is it safe to exercise with Arthritis?

If you have knee osteoarthritis or have a family member with knee osteoarthritis, check out the article to learn the importance of exercise in the management and prevention of knee osteoarthritis. Knee osteoarthritis is seen in a large percentage of adult and elderly populations compared to other chronic conditions. Want to learn more about what exactly is knee osteoarthritis? Click here to read our post, “What is Knee Osteoarthritis.

Gluteal Muscles

Why is Exercise Important for the Management of Knee Osteoarthritis?

Exercise is a crucial component to the management of knee osteoarthritis, to allow you to slow the progression of the severity of osteoarthritis and manage pain in order to remain active. Medical Doctor, Neil J. Bosomworth states that people with osteoarthritis are shown to have benefited from physical functioning, with reduction of pain and disability, using aerobic, muscle strengthening, aquatic exercise and physiotherapy.

Exercise that builds the muscles around the knee helps support the knee and makes the joint less prone to further loss of cartilage. Stretching helps increase the mobility of the knee to help manage pain. Exercises should be catered specifically to the individual and clearly taught so that they are performed with proper form. A kinesiologist or physiotherapist would be an excellent support in the management of knee osteoarthritis. The key components of an exercise routine for the management of knee osteoarthritis include:

Mobility Exercises and Stretching

Mobility exercises and stretching are important to maintain the full range of motion of the knee for people with knee osteoarthritis, check out the video on the right for some basic knee mobility exercises.

The key muscles groups that should be stretched include:

  • Hamstrings (back of thigh)

  • Quadriceps (front of thigh)

  • Calf muscles

  • Hip flexors (front of hip)

Working with a physiotherapist or kinesiologist can help you learn proper knee mobility exercises and stretching techniques.

Knee Strengthening Exercises

If you have osteoarthritis in the knee, it is important to maintain strength in the knee to help:

  • Support and stabilize the knee

  • Promote healthy cartilage

  • Reduce stress on the knee

However, knee pain from many traditional leg strengthening exercises such as lunges and squats can cause knee pain when the knee is bent. Individuals with knee osteoarthritis can strengthen the muscles around their knee by performing hip dominant exercises that do not involve excessive knee bending. Consult with your doctor before beginning knee strengthening exercises. We recommend working with one of our kinesiologists or physiotherapists to guide you through an exercise program custom to your goals.

Check out the video on the right for some lower limb strengthening exercises that are easy on the knees.

Working with a physiotherapist or kinesiologist can help you learn proper knee mobility exercises and stretching techniques.

Low Impact Aerobic Exercise

Low impact aerobic exercises including swimming and biking are important to manage weight and overall health. Activities including swimming, biking or walking are low impact and easy on the knees. Try to incorporate some low impact aerobic exercise into your weekly routine.

We want to help! If you have knee osteoarthritis, contact us to book an appointment with our team to help you stay active with knee osteoarthritis.