Osteoarthritis defines the wearing away of cartilage that eventually causes inflammation of a joint. As we grow older, we may begin to notice a few aches and pains or stiff joints in the morning, most especially in our knees. The risk of getting arthritis in specific joints of the body increases over the age of 50. Being overweight or obese can also contribute to arthritis, especially in the lower extremities. Individuals who have worked in repetitive movement jobs, sustained injuries to the bone, or have some type of trauma to the knee are also at an increased risk of developing knee arthritis. Arthritis, regardless of type can cause similar symptoms. Here are some common arthritic symptoms that you may experience: • Morning stiffness • Redness over the affected joint • The affected joint may feel warm, tender, and painful So what do you do with that pain? You talk to your doctor or physical therapist about it and learn ways to maintain the strength and mobility of your knee joint through certain activities and exercise.
Yes, exercise. When you feel achy or stiff in your joints, the last thing you might want to do is move. Actually, movement can be one of the most beneficial activities to not only decrease the stiffness and pain in that joint, but to increase mobility, flexibility, strength and range of motion. Your knee joint is one of the most important and strongest joints found in the human body. It’s also one of the largest. It’s composed of four bones, along with a rather complex network of muscles and ligaments. Arthritis in the knee can lead to inflammation of those muscles and tendons that connect to the knee joint, causing pain, stiffness, and weakness. While it may seem counterintuitive, weight-bearing exercises like walking are one of the best types of activities you can engage in that will help keep you mobile as well as strengthen your joint over time. A number of knee strengthening exercises may also help to reduce pain and improve function.
3 knee strengthening exercises
Following is a short list to get you started. It is important to maintain proper form with all exercises to ensure they provide optimal benefits.
• Seated knee extensions – sitting on a chair, straighten your knee until it’s parallel to the floor. Tighten the thigh muscles and hold for a count of 10. Relax. Repeat with opposite leg. Try to do 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.
• Heel raises – using a chair or table for support, stand with your feet together and flat on the floor. Slowly raise your heels off the floor and hold for a count of five. Relax. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
• Knee squeeze – sitting in a chair, place a pillow between your knees and then squeeze your knees together. Hold that squeeze for a count of 10 and then relax. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
Until Next Time,
Stay Happy & Healthy,