There lies an age-old misconception that working out might worsen your arthritis. Let’s get the facts straight. Done correctly, exercising is not going to exacerbate your pain or worsen your osteoarthritis. It is true that exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing. Symptoms like pain and stiffness in your hips and knee might make it seem like a difficult task. But, moving is important for Osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. It helps joints to compress and release, increasing your blood flow and bringing more oxygen and nutrients into your cartilage.
Ready to pull up your socks and get better? Here is a mix of workouts recommended by experts for those with Osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. There are mainly three types:
Aerobic exercise is basically any type of cardiovascular conditioning. You might know it by its popular term ‘cardio’. These exercises strengthen your heart and lungs while helping you maintain a healthy weight. Remember, extra pounds always worsen your arthritis pain. So shedding a few is never a bad thing.
Begin with low impact workouts for your osteoarthritis condition like:
If you’re new to exercises for osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, do not do too much too soon. Start with a 10 minute workout routine and slowly increase your time.
Weak joints become more stable and comfortable with stronger muscles. A set of strengthening exercises that target specific muscle groups can help ease your arthritis pain problems. Apart from relieving your pain, strengthening exercises will also make your daily activities such as climbing stairs or lifting an object from the floor much easier.
Some basic strengthening exercises to consider are:
Sit to stand: Sit in a chair and place both your feet on the floor shoulder width part. Slowly stand up and sit back down again without using your hands. Repeat for a minute.
Mini wall squats: Place your head and back against a wall. Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat down to bend your knee at a 30 degree angle. Stand up slowly. Repeat for a minute.
One leg balance: Stand closer to a table or counter. Lift one leg and balance on the other leg. Place one hand on the table for support initially. Repeat on each leg for 30 seconds. You can eventually get rid of your table support.
RANGE OF MOTION EXERCISES
Range of motion is how far you can move your joints in different directions. These exercises help you move each joint through its full range of motion. Movement can help keep your joints flexible, reduce pain, and improve balance and strength. To get started, try to do these exercises for your hip and knee osteoarthritis daily:
For Knee Osteoarthritis
- Sitting knee extension: Sit in a chair and extend one leg as much as you can. Hold the position for 2-5 seconds and bring it back down. Repeat on both sides 10 times.
- Sitting knee flexion: Sit on the edge of a chair. Lift one knee and extend. Then pull your shin as close as possible to your thighs. Hold for 2-5 seconds and bring it back. Repeat on both sides 10 times.
For Hip Osteoarthritis
- Standing hip flexor stretch: Keep one foot ahead hips-distance apart. Bend your back legs slightly and bend your front knee. Keep your upper body straight while doing so. Don’t let your front knee go beyond your toes. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat on both sides 10 times.
- Knee to chest: Lie with the back on your floor and bend your knees. Bring one knee into your hands and hold it as close to your chest as possible. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat on both sides 10 times.
No single workout is best. But some moves are quite helpful for your hip and knee osteoarthritis. But first, remember to check in with your doctor before you start any new physical activity.
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