If you or a loved one suffer from Osteo-Arthritis of the joints, especially the knees then this piece of information may be very interesting for you. It is a fact that those with knee troubles, with accompanying discomfort and pain, find climbing and descending stairs quite a trial.
There seems to be a lot of conflicting information around as to whether to do exercises for them, as sometimes too much activity (think gardening for example) can render us practically immobile as we take a day to get over it! We have looked into the research on this subject, as we often find that customers of ours, who have gone on and purchased a stair lift, often have arthritis as a medical condition.
It might surprise you, but exercise is one of the best ways to relieve the pain and stiffness of knee arthritis. Exercise strengthens the muscles around the knees, and it improves your flexibility, range of motion, and balance. Your doctor or a physical therapist can help you determine the best exercises for you.
Some exercises for knee arthritis
Here are some great moves, that you can run past your GP or physiotherapist to check that they are suitable for you.
1) Gentle walking, swimming or other low impact exercise is good for everyone. Check out if your local health centre or leisure facility runs classes for the over 50’s, which should run sessions ideally designed for you.
2) Some people with early arthritis have taken up yoga or tai chi to help them. As arthritis is not curable as such, anything you can do to feel better and help promote range of movement as well as lightly strengthen the muscles around the knee for support, can only help.
3) According to the Journal of Gerontology a research study was undertaken with a group of elderly people who exercised on indoor stationery cycles each week. Some of the group did high intensity interval training and some just rode steadily and was more low intensity. For this age group the researchers found:
Another interesting study, published in the Journal of Gerontology, […] concluded that low-intensity cycling was as effective as high-intensity cycling for improving the patient’s function, gait, aerobic capacity, as well as for decreasing pain. Source:osteoarthritis.about.com
4) The key is to start small and aim for perhaps 5 minutes of activity to begin with and build it up, paying attention to how you feel. This is manageable and also is unlikely to agitate the tissues around the knee. If you overdo it then use your pain medication, whether aspirin or ibuprofen, take it easy and use warmth to help it. If the knee swells painfully then you can use an ice pack, cooling gel or the good old standby in the freezer – a bag of peas!
I hope some of what you have read here helps you out. If you want to see more articles like this on self-help for different health conditions then do feel free to comment below and we can cover them for you.