Suffering from arthritis? These exercises can help you cope with knee pain
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 11, 2023
Aging brings its fair share of health challenges, including arthritis. Characterized by joint swelling and tenderness, arthritis can lead to debilitating knee pain and stiffness, impacting daily life. But fear not! With the right exercises, you can reduce knee pain, restore knee function, and regain control over your life.
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Low-Impact Exercises for Arthritis Relief
Regular low-impact workouts and strengthening exercises are key to combatting knee pain caused by arthritis. Not only do these exercises strengthen the muscles around the affected joints, but they also reduce swelling and pain. Additionally, even moderate exercise can increase joint flexibility and overall strength.
So, let’s dive into the low-impact exercises that can help you find relief from arthritis-related knee pain:
1. Aerobic Exercise: Walk, Swim, Bike
Aerobic exercise is crucial for maintaining joint health. Walking is an excellent low-impact option that almost everyone can engage in. It not only aids in aerobic conditioning, but it also strengthens leg muscles, improves posture, and enhances flexibility. If walking doesn’t suit you, consider swimming or bicycling. These activities provide great aerobic conditioning while being gentle on your knees and other weight-bearing joints.
2. Stretching for Flexibility
Stretching is a fantastic way to keep your knee flexible and promote healthy cartilage. By incorporating knee stretches into your daily routine, you can reduce stiffness and increase your range of motion. Just remember not to overdo it – a gentle approach is key.
3. Strengthening Exercises for Knee Stability
Strengthening exercises are vital for decreasing everyday knee pain and slowing down the progression of arthritic pain. Here are some recommended knee-strengthening exercises:
Straight leg raise: This exercise targets your quadriceps and strengthens the muscles in the front of your thigh, applying no pressure or strain on the joints. It’s an excellent way to fortify your knees.
Standing hamstring curls: Strengthening your hamstrings helps prevent injuries and pain. Hamstring curls stretch your quadriceps, relieve quad tightness, and stabilize your knees.
Calf raise/heel raise: Strengthening your calf muscles provides increased support and stability to your knees. Heel raises are an effective way to achieve this.
Step-ups: This simple body resistance exercise engages the muscles in your legs and buttocks. It allows your irritated knees to settle down and alleviates pain.
Side leg raises: These leg raises not only reduce knee pain but also strengthen your joints.
Sit to stand: Practice this move to make standing and sitting easier, reducing stiffness in your knees. Take it slow and steady.
Half squat: Half squats restore healthy joint function, reducing damage, deformity, dysfunction, and pain in the knee.
4. Yoga and Tai Chi for Pain Relief
Yoga and tai chi can work wonders when it comes to arthritis-related knee pain:
Yoga: People with various forms of arthritis can benefit from practicing yoga. It reduces joint pain, improves flexibility and function, and lowers stress and tension within the joints.
Tai chi: This gentle, low-impact exercise involves slow and smooth movements that alleviate arthritic pain and enhance mobility.
By incorporating these exercises into your daily routine, you can effectively combat knee pain caused by arthritis. Remember, always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program. Embrace an active lifestyle and regain control of your knee health!