Arthritis of the knee: Ten exercises

Arthritis is a condition where the joints become swollen, hot, and often painful. One joint that is commonly affected by arthritis is the knee, the largest joint in the body.

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by Brian Wu, Reviewed by William Morrison MD, Medical News Today June 15, 2016

One form of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). With OA, the hard tissue that covers the ends of the bones in a joint begins to break down.

Even with medications, the knee pain caused by OA can greatly impact on daily life. However, exercise is another way that people with arthritis of the knee can reduce pain.

Arthritis of the knee and exercise

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 52.5 million Americans over the age of 18 have been diagnosed with arthritis. Around 49.7 percent of adults aged 65 and older and 30.3 percent of people between 45 and 64 suffer from this condition.

There are two main types of arthritis that can affect knees. The most common type of arthritis is OA. The other is rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which affects around 1.5 million Americans. Left untreated, RA may destroy affected joints over time.

Luckily, there are ways to ease the effects of knee arthritis. By regularly practicing these exercises, people can reduce knee pain, improve motion, decrease stiffness, and increase flexibility.

People with arthritis should always consult a physician before beginning any exercise routine.

Before you start

People with arthritis should always consult a physician before beginning any exercise routine

In addition to a doctor’s recommendations, there are important things to consider.

☞ Start slowly. It is important to proceed slowly. People with arthritis should be highly attentive to their body’s signals and stop if they experience any pain.

☞ Incorporate movement into daily life. People should try to keep joints limber by adding movement into their overall lifestyle. They should not just set aside a specific block of time for rigorous exercise while being inactive the rest of the time.

This list is compiled with that goal in mind. It includes a variety of movements that can be practiced at home or work, while standing, seated, and even lying down.

As people get used to the exercises and discover which ones work best for them, they should try adding them into daily activities. Many of these activities can be carried out during household chores or while sitting at a desk.

Any movement practice for knee pain caused by arthritis should be low-impact and easy to perform.

Each of these exercises will help with building strength, improving flexibility, or increasing stamina. This list also includes which muscles are targeted and any precautions to keep in mind.

Why exercise?

Even with medications, the knee pain caused by OA can greatly impact on daily life.

However, exercise is another way that people with arthritis of the knee can reduce pain.

By regularly practicing some specific exercises, people can reduce knee pain, improve motion, decrease stiffness, and increase flexibility.

Cautions

Even after practicing these movements for a while, people should always be sure to pay attention to changes in pain. Training regimes can be changed accordingly or stopped altogether.

It is important for people with arthritis of the knee to keep their doctor updated on what they’re doing.

People with arthritis of the knee should try to lead an overall healthy lifestyle, make regular visits to their doctor, and continue taking any prescribed medications. Practicing these exercises may also reduce the harmful effects of knee arthritis.

Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using tertiary references. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
Arthritis in general CDC HHS
Arthritis-related statistics CDC HHS

Source Medical News Today

Also see
8 Knee Exercises to Help Prevent More Injuries Web MD
6 moves for stronger knees Muscle & Fitness
8 Yoga Moves to Strengthen Knees The Beachbody Blog
Low-Impact Workouts for the Knees and Leg Strength Livestrong
11 Workout Tips For Achy Joints Prevention
10 Strengthening Exercises To Relieve Knee Pain Positive Health Wellness

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