Exercise for Arthritis

~ by Dr. Andrea

Exercise has been shown to be beneficial in managing the symptoms of osteoarthritis by

  • Strengthening the muscles around the joints
  • Correcting faulty movement patterns and uneven joint loading
  • Weight control

Exercise also reduces pain and fears around movements and makes it easier for people to do their everyday activities.

Here are 5 Exercises you can do to help with Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis!

Remember the following exercise tips as you start:

  • The goal of these exercises is to target the quadricep, glutes and calf muscles.
  • During exercise keep your pain level from 0-4 out of 10
  • Take breaks when you need it and remember to hydrate and breathe throughout the exercises
  • Begin with 5 minutes of cardio such as gentle cycling or walking on the treadmill to warm up your muscles and get the blood flowing.

1) Sit-to-Stand

→ Begin by standing in front of a chair with the back of your knees touching the seat edge of the chair. With your feet shoulder width apart, bring your arms out in front of you. Place your weight on the back of your heels, engage your core while you squeeze your buttocks and shift your hips back as if you were going to sit in the chair. Touch your buttocks down on the surface of the chair then stand back up to the beginning position.

→ Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions 3 times per week

→ **Keep your back straight and knees facing forward. Do not let your knees go over your toes

2) Leg Extensions

→ While seated, loop an elastic exercise band around your ankle and to the opposite foot, or loop the elastic band around your ankle and secure the opposite end to the leg of the chair. Next, draw your lower leg upward to straighten the knee while your other foot anchors the band.

→ Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions 3 times per week on both legs

3) Glute Bridges

→ Start lying on your back with your knees flexed and feet flat on the floor. Brace your core as you squeeze your glutes and lift your buttocks and hips off the floor toward the sky. Squeeze your glutes at the top and hold it for 3 seconds, then slowly lower back to the floor and repeat.

→ **Keep an eye on your hips and make sure they are both level and that one side is not higher than the other and working harder. Make sure to breathe throughout the exercise while keeping your core engaged.

4) Calf Raises

→ Stand on a step or a stair with your toes, letting your heels hang off the edge. You may hold onto the railing or a support for balance. Feet pointing forward, lower your heels slowly to sink below the level of the step/stair, then push back up rising up on your toes.

→ Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions 3 times per week

5) Heel slides

→ Stand with a glider disk or a dish rag under one foot so that it can easily slide along the floor. Bend your knees to slowly lower your buttocks toward the floor as you slide the foot with the dish rag under it forward into a lunge position. Make sure your toes don’t go over your knee. Slowly slide the leg back to the starting position.

→ Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg 3 times a week

→ You can also slide the leg out to the side as if to do a side lung, and also slide the leg out behind you as you get more comfortable with the exercise

 

We hope that you find these exercises beneficial! Of course, this article does not replace specific advice that would be for your unique situation. Make sure you speak to your chiropractor at your next appointment!