Most people suffering from knee arthritis assume that exercise compounds their conditions. However, studies show that regular exercise can have the same effect as NSAIDs and other pain relievers.
Experts say that regular exercise improves knee function and alleviates rheumatoid arthritis in the area. You can get the same benefits with three recommended knee exercises, shown below.
How Can Exercise Benefits You?
Perhaps the greatest benefit of knee exercises is their natural pain-relieving ability. Your muscles get a workout and become stronger, and the stronger it gets the better it can support your joints.
Muscle areas that can alleviate knee pain include the hamstrings, quadriceps, and those that surround the knee. Through regular movement, your bones and joints experience less impact and become more stable, thus the pain reduction.
Also, physical activities make your body produce endorphins, a pain-killing hormone.
Better Function and Range of Motion
It may seem counterintuitive to continue moving around if your knees hurt, but doing this can lead to muscle weakness and joint stiffness, and therefore amplify the pain.
With the correct exercise, the muscles surrounding the knee can get stronger and provide a better cushion against impacts. Studies show how exercise can improve knee function by around 10 percent, which means patients could walk longer, get out of sitting better and bend their knees farther than before.
Your cartilage will need regular movement and stress to stay healthy. Moving the joints releases synovial fluid, which delivers lubrication and nutrients in its immediate area. Experts believe that the fluid is also responsible for creating a healing environment and reducing joint inflammation.
Factors to Consider Before Exercising
Like most exercise routines or programs it's best to ease your body into the activity, especially if you've been inactive for a long time. Going too hard might result in an injury and make the pain worse.
For those who are suffering from osteoarthritis, the best strategy is to gradually increase workout intensity and length.
Practice Gentle Movement
Stretching 5 to 10 minutes before doing the exercises can help your body warm-up. It's recommended that you do it before and after the routine. Also, don't force your muscles- keep the movements gentle and easy for the best results.
For strength training, start with lower weights or fewer reps and build up.
On days where you get flare-ups from your knee arthritis or osteoarthritis, it helps if you can continue the routine. You can lower the reps or ease up on the weights, and even doing some simple stretches is better than none.
Concentrate on a range of motion stretches to alleviate pain to a degree.Stop If You Feel Pain
Exercises shouldn't be mindless too- listen to your body and immediately stop if you feel a new joint pain. If unsure of whether the pain you experience is good or not, it's best to speak with your doctor.
3 Exercises for Knee Arthritis
This stretch works your thighs and brings considerable pain relief to osteoarthritis and AR patients.
To start, you should stand next to a wall or a chair and grab it for balance. Then, slowly bend your left knee and bring the heel up to your buttocks. Hold the raised leg's ankle and pull it closer to your body for the stretch and hold it for around 30 to 60 seconds.
Afterward, put the leg down and do the same for the other leg. Repeat the movement twice or thrice.
Straight Leg Raises
This exercise can be done anywhere as long as the floor is clean. Start by lying down with your elbows flat on the floor for support and keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed.
Have one leg assume a bend while the other is straight. Then, tighten the straight leg and raise it about 10 inches off the floor. Hold it for 5 seconds, then do the same for the other leg. Repeat 5 times and alternate until you reach 50 for both legs.
You should be next to a wall for support when doing this exercise. Start by balancing your left foot and slowly raising your right foot until the knee is at hip level. Then slowly lower it on the floor and do the same with the other foot.
Focus on having a stable position and keeping the pressure on both the heel and ball.