Older adults living with knee arthritis pain usually feel like physical exercise is the last thing on earth they would like to do. If you’re one of them, did you know that you can benefit significantly from regular, simple exercises? Here are three knee arthritis exercises that can help with reducing pain.
How Exercise Helps Knee Arthritis
Physical exercise strengthens muscles, which means that stronger muscles will be able to better support your joints. By strengthening the hamstrings, quadriceps, and all the other muscles surrounding your knee, the knee starts to become more stable. The impact on your bones during weight-bearing and activities like walking becomes less harsh, which will in turn reduce pain. Moreover, when you engage in any sort of physical activity, your body also releases endorphins which are known as the body’s natural painkillers. Research and studies have shown that those experiencing arthritis who participate in land-based strength training routines have expressed a 10 to 15% decrease in pain as compared to those who do not engage in those exercises. This decrease in pain can make all the difference between requiring pain medication or not.
Benefits of Lower Body Strengthening for Knee Arthritis
Here are a few benefits of strengthening your lower body to manage knee arthritis:
- Weight loss – When combined with a nutritious and balanced diet, an individual can shed pounds which will help them put less pressure on your joints
- Healthier cartilage – Everyone’s joint cartilage requires motion and a certain amount of stress in order to be healthy. When the joint is used, the cartilage squeezes our synovial fluid that delivers lubrication and nutrients to the rest of the joint.
- Increased range of function and motion – Most times, it’s easy to understand why pain can discourage a person from leading a healthy lifestyle. However, this aversion to exercise can cause your muscles and joints to become stiff. Exercising regularly can help your muscles stay limber and increase your knee function.
Knee Arthritis Exercises
Try out these exercises to help manage your knee arthritis pain:
- Leg raises
- Lie flat on your back with your toes up and arms beside you
- While tightening your leg muscles, slowly lift it several inches
- Tighten your stomach muscles and push your leg down
- Switch and repeat
- Stand should-width apart while stretching your arms out in front of you
- Slowly bend your knees until you’re in a half-sitting position
- While keeping your back straight and chest lifted, hold the position for five seconds before backing up without leaning forward.
- One-leg dip
- Stand between two chairs to hold for balance
- Lift and hold out a leg in front of you
- While keeping your back straight, bend the other leg and lower your body a few inches
- Switch and repeat
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