There are plenty of knee strengthening exercises- but it is important to know which is the best for osteoarthritis. So here are a few knee exercises for osteoarthritis that can help you recover sooner. But before that, let’s look at what osteoarthritis is and who is affected by it.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when the flexible tissue covering bones wears down, and the bones start hurting each other while walking. It usually happens in the joints like knees, elbows etc. The tissue doesn’t wear out suddenly. This happens gradually over the years and worsens over time. The cartilage bone is a rubbery material between bones that eases down the rupture and helps smooth movement. The wear and tear of the cartilage lead to friction between the bones causing pain in the knees.
Who is Easily Prone to the Disease?
Those with physical disabilities are prone to this disease faster than others as there is not enough movement or physical activity that causes quick wear and tear of the tissue. Apart from them, osteoarthritis is more common in older people. It is again because of the wear and tear of the cartilage in between joints. It is common in both men and women. However, men get it mainly before the age of 45, and women get it mainly after the age of 45.
Knee Exercises for Osteoarthritis
The best knee strengthening exercises for osteoarthritis are:
- Hamstrings Stretch
This is one of the physiotherapy exercises for knee osteoarthritis that helps you reduce the pain and recover from the damage. These osteoarthritis knee exercises increase the flexibility in the knees and are considered one of the best knee osteoarthritis exercises for elderly people. One can reduce pain in the joints and recover from injuries while doing this exercise. All you have to do is lie down on a mat and take a lengthy towel, hold the ends of the towel in both hands and loop it around one foot. Then, slowly use the towel to lift your leg straight up. Hold in the same position for at least 20 seconds. Repeat with the next leg.
- Calf Stretch
These are isometric exercises for knee osteoarthritis that relieve the tension and pain in the joints. To do this exercise, take a chair and stand behind it. Hold on to the back of the chair and slowly move back with your left leg and straighten it. Use your left heel and press to feel the stretch in the calf muscles at the back leg. Stay in the same position for 20 seconds before you change to the next leg. For better results, slightly lean forward and bend your front knee deeper. It gives more stretch to the calf muscles in the back leg.
- Straight Leg Raise
Again, this is one of the best knee exercises for osteoarthritis that strengthen the muscles around the joints and doesn’t allow it to wear off too easily. These osteoarthritis knee exercises support weak joints and reduce tension. Lie on your back with your left leg folded and knees facing the sky. Keep your right leg straight and lift it slowly at an angle of 45 degrees. Hold in this position for about 3 seconds and come down slowly. Repeat the same about 10 times. Ensure your thigh muscles are tightened when you do this exercise. Change legs and repeat the same.
- Quad Set
The quad set exercise for osteoarthritis knee pain is for those who find the straight leg raise exercise slightly difficult. These are easy osteoarthritis knee exercises that you can do by just lying down. Keep your legs straight and toes facing the sky. Slowly tighten your thigh and knee muscles in one leg. Hold and release after 5 seconds. Do the same thing about 20 times before switching to the other leg. It is one of the most straightforward stretching exercises for knee osteoarthritis.
- Seated Hip March
The seated hip march is one of the best resistance band exercises for knee osteoarthritis, and it works on the hip and thigh muscles. This lower body workout helps you go about with your daily activities without any pain in the joints. For this exercise, you need a chair to sit on. Keep one foot back and raise the other foot with your knee bent. Stay in this position for 3 seconds. Repeat the same about 10 times before you switch over to the next leg.
- Pillow Squeeze
The pillow squeezes are funny osteoarthritis knee exercises where you need to lie down with legs bent and knees up. Keep a pillow in between your thighs and squeeze it as much as possible. Hold for at least 5 seconds. Do this for 10 repetitions. If you find this tough, do it while sitting in a chair.
- Heel Raise
The heel raise is the easiest among the knee joint exercises for osteoarthritis, where you have to stand behind a chair and just raise your heel. Ensure the tension is in your toes and knees. Stay in this position for about 5 seconds. Do the same thing about 10 times. These leg exercises can be done at home itself.
- Sit to Stand
If you have elders at home who cannot stand easily after sitting, suggest this exercise. Keep about 2 small cushions or pillows over a chair and sit on them. Ensure your bent knees do not move ahead of your toes. Next, fold your arms and try getting up. If you're finding this tough, use an armchair and stand using your elbows.
These are some practical sets of home exercises that do not need any counselling or instructor to help you. Do them every day on an empty stomach for the best results. The osteoarthritis knee exercises give immediate relief for joint pains. So those who are suffering from osteoarthritis do not worry about the pain and keep doing these exercises daily to get quick relief and fast recovery.