Your Ultimate Guide to Exercises for Osteoarthritis

September, 13 2023 4 min read
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Daily activities are too much effort when joints are sore and uncomfortable. Osteoarthritis can be painful and taxing, but exercises have the power to reduce discomfort and maintain a healthy weight and body. If followed correctly, taking the proper precautions in exercise can keep you going even while your osteoarthritis tries to slow you down.

Engaging in regular exercise is crucial for managing osteoarthritis. It helps to maintain joint function, improve muscle strength, enhance flexibility, and manage weight. When done correctly, exercise can alleviate pain and stiffness, increase joint mobility, and promote a better sense of well-being.

At AgEasy by Antara, we understand the importance of staying active while managing knee pain. AgEasy by Antara is your go-to source for evidence-based exercises that cater to knee pain relief. We provide a range of options to suit different levels of fitness and preferences, empowering you to choose what works best for you.

Explore our article, where you'll find step-by-step guides, expert insights, and tailored options to promote mobility, strengthen joints, and enhance overall well-being.

What are the benefits of physical exercises?

Physical exercise is crucial for achieving excellent physical and mental health and can be quite helpful in managing osteoarthritis.

Regular exercise can prevent bone loss, keep the muscles surrounding weak joints healthy, and reduce joint discomfort and swelling.

Regular exercise relieves pain and stiffness by recovering the lubricant1 in the joint cartilage.

By reducing exhaustion and enhancing sleep, exercise also increases energy and stamina.

It can also help overweight people with osteoarthritis lose weight and support long-term weight management.

Exercises have psychological benefits, such as improved mood, decreased anxiety, and overall body relaxation.

What are some of the recommended activities for osteoarthritis?

  1. Swimming

Due to its weightlessness, swimming is considered one of the best activities for knee osteoarthritis. Water lessens the impact on the knee joints, thus helping in low-impact exercises. The muscles around the knee strengthen by swimming, increasing joint flexibility and range of motion.

  1. Stationary Cycling

Cycling on a stationary bike is another excellent exercise for people with knee osteoarthritis. It provides a low-impact cardiovascular workout without placing too much strain on the knee joints. Leg muscles, especially the quadriceps2, which are crucial for knee stability and support, are strengthened by cycling.

  1. Manual Exercises by Physiotherapist

A physiotherapist with expertise in knee osteoarthritis can offer insightful advice and specialized exercises. Gentle stretches, range-of-motion exercises, and strengthening routines that concentrate on the knee's surrounding muscles may all be included in these workouts.

  1. Quadriceps Exercises

Strengthening the quadriceps muscles is crucial for knee stability and reducing pain associated with knee osteoarthritis. Exercises of quadriceps muscles against their resistance and the hamstrings3 of the opposite leg, abductors4 and adductor5 muscle strengthening, or proprioception6 exercises (e.g., standing on one foot and swinging your arms) can improve muscle strength and support the knee joint.

Isometric Exercises: These involve contracting muscles without joint movement. Isometric exercises can help improve muscle strength without putting strain on the joints. For example, squeezing a ball between your knees can target the muscles around the hips.

Apart from these exercises mentioned above, some additional elements could complement your exercise regime.

Cycle Exerciser: People who like to work out at home may find it helpful to use a cycle exerciser, such as a pedal exerciser. This is especially convenient for older people as they can exercise in the comforts of their home, watching TV or in presence of their family.

Theraband: Strengthening exercises can be done with a theraband or resistance band. These bands offer resistance during exercises, aiding muscle strength development.

Hot and Cold Compression: Heat packs can be applied before exercise to enhance blood circulation. Cold packs are often applied after exercise to reduce swelling.

Yoga or Group Exercises: Benefits of yoga have been known for centuries. Incorporating it into your daily routine helps with your mental and physical health. Group exercises boost your confidence and motivate you to continue daily exercises.

What are some of the physical activities I can avoid if I have osteoarthritis?

To avoid specific ailments or injuries, particular measures should be followed to prevent further discomfort or injury in workouts. The following are generally not recommended for people with this condition.

  1. Bending your knees too much: Exercises involving squatting, in which you lower your body by bending your knees and hips, can be very taxing on the knee joints. They can make your knee problems worse.

  1. Sitting in a Low Chair: Sitting in a low chair or on a surface necessitating excessive knee bending can also worsen knee discomfort. The knee joints are flexed more than usual, which could be painful or put stress on the joints.

  1. Sitting Cross Legged on Floor: Sitting cross legged on floor should be avoided as it exerts more pressure on your knee joints which can damage your knee and will worsen the pain. Though sitting on high ground will exert less pressure on the knees and hence it is recommended.

  1. Weight Cuffs: While weight cuffs or ankle weights can be advantageous for some workouts, they are typically not recommended for people with knee problems or pain. The added weight may put more pressure and discomfort on the knee joints by increasing their load. Moreover, using a weight cuffs needs to be supervised by a doctor, hence not advisable for home workout.

  1. Activities that Cause Discomfort: Any activities that causes significant discomfort or pain should be avoided. This can include any household work, daily activity or exercise.

Living with osteoarthritis doesn't mean you have to give up an active lifestyle. In fact, regular exercise can be a powerful tool in managing the symptoms of osteoarthritis and improving your overall well-being. By incorporating a combination of exercises, you can create a well-rounded exercise routine that caters to your specific needs and limitations.

At AGEasy by Antara, we understand that aging gracefully means embracing every moment of life. Our carefully selected product range is tailored to meet the specific needs and aspirations of our beloved seniors. From mobility-enhancing braces to effective pain relief solutions, nutraceuticals, and revitalizing vitamins – we have a wide selection.

For more information about our brand and products, call our helpline at +919911789911.

Glossary

1 - Lubricant: Slippery stuff that makes things slide smoothly

2 - Quadriceps: Four big muscles in the front of your thigh

3 - Hamstrings: Muscles at the back of your thigh that help you bend your knee

4 - Abductor muscle: A muscle that moves a body part away from your center

5 - Adductor muscle: A muscle that brings a body part closer to your center

6 - Proprioception: Knowing where your body is without looking, like balancing with eyes closed

References:

  1. https://blog.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise-benefits-for-joints/
  2. https://www.kneeandshoulder.net/blog/easy-to-do-exercises-for-knee-arthritis/
  3. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/managing-arthritis-pain-with-exercise/