Can exercise help my OA knee pain?
Arthritis could be a perfect excuse not to exercise, but in reality, an exercise program developed and supervised by a professional who is specialized in patients with OA knee pain could help decrease pain while improving your flexibility and fitness level. It is recommended that you add simple exercises to your routine; specifically exercises that will help strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes, the muscles that help your knee function.
Hustle, Hit and Never Quit against Knee pain
4 strategies to keep you at the top of your game
Are your knees causing you pain? Is it challenging for you to participate in the activities you love? To manage discomfort, you’ve tried icing it, you’ve taken pain medication, but it still persists. Now what?
When you have osteoarthritis of the knee, you want a solution you can rely on. Live the life you want, do not let knee pain stop you. Here are four strategies that can help you play that tennis match, ride your bike or keep up with your kids.
Staying as mobile and active as possible can reduce your pain, help you to stay independent and improve your quality of life. Many individuals are afraid to exercise because they believe – mistakenly – that it could cause further damage to their knee. Most of us do not get enough exercise in our daily lives and so we develop aches and pains. Your body needs to move. The important thing is to set realistic goals, do some form of exercise that you enjoy, and to do it regularly. Exercise does not have to be complex, often a combination of simple stretching, strengthening and low-impact fitness exercises are best.
Injections of hyaluronic acid (found naturally in a healthy knee joint) help to improve the lubrication and cushioning of the knee joint caused by damage to the joint (cartilage). It is also known as a viscosupplement, a clear gel-like substance that helps the knee bones and cartilage to move smoothly. It closely mimics healthy synovial fluid to lubricate joints, much like how oil lubricates your car engine. Clinical trials support that a treatment can decrease pain and improve your functional mobility, with no serious adverse effects.
Being overweight may make your arthritis symptoms worse or harder to manage because your knee joint is under additional stress. By losing any surplus body weight, through exercise and a healthy diet, you can help ease the pain. While there is no definitive anti-arthritis diet, it is important that you eat a healthy, balanced diet for your general health. If your diet contains more energy (calories) than you burn, your body will convert the extra energy to fat and you will gain weight. If you are going to eat fewer calories, it is important not to lose out on the vitamins, minerals and other key nutrients for healthy living. You may want to seek the expertise of a registered dietitian to help you.
A light-weight, low profile knee brace can be worn during your daily activities and exercises to alleviate pain and improve functional mobility. Specific braces can apply corrective forces to the knee to take pressure off the affected area of the joint. Studies have demonstrated braces can reduce the pain associated with knee arthritis, and your reliance on medication and the associated negative side-effects. Bracing is commonly used in conjunction with other treatments, such as exercise, weight loss, and injection therapies.
By understanding your knee pain, you will be better equipped to find solutions that will empower you to participate in the activities you love, quickly and easily.
We strongly encourage you to consult with your doctor or physiotherapist for more information on these strategies and determine the best clinically proven treatments to keep YOU at the top of your game.
Darryl Yardley, PT, FCAMPT
Manager, Therapy Services, Brant Community Healthcare System
Consultant, Hip Preservation Group
Assistant Professor, Business & Entrepreneurship in Physical Therapy,
Chair, Private Practice Division, Canadian Physiotherapy Association
Director, EnCORE Research Inc.
Entry to Practice Essentials (Canadian PCE Study Guide)
Start with one set of 3 or 4 repetitions, working up on 8–10 as you get stronger, building up to three sets.
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
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CingalTM, Monovisc® and Orthovisc® may not be suitable for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you have questions regarding these products, or for more information on pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. Product information is only pertinent for use in Canada. CingalTM, Monovisc® and Orthovisc® are trademarks of Anika Therapeutics Inc., used under licence by Pharmascience Inc. Pendopharm, Division of Pharmascience Inc. Product Licences are pertinent to use in Canada. Product Licences herein are not approved for use in the U.S.