Osteoarthritis affects a lot of people and this is why it is important to find out all the necessary information on how to heal it. One of the effective ways in which you can heal your osteoarthritis is through knee strengthening exercises that are regimented and geared towards strengthening this part of your leg.
Prior to looking at the exercises that will strengthen your knee and heal the problem, there is a need to look at what osteoarthritis is for a better understanding. It is important to note that among the different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is in the list of the commonest types.
When the articular cartilage found around your joint degenerates, osteoarthritis kicks in. The human body has numerous joints but the hip and knee joints are affected in most cases. The main reason behind this is that these joints carry most of the body’s weight. If the knees are under excess weight, elasticity is lost, hardness comes in and cracks appear. At this point, the knee is damaged and the pain and discomfort experienced affect the person’s ability to handle their daily activities.
While the condition is more common as a person ages, there are cases involving younger people. A person affected by osteoarthritis needs to follow knee strengthening exercises that will ensure that their knee is strong enough to prevent further damage, assist in the healing process and help in alleviating the pain. The following section covers some of the most effective osteoarthritis knee strengthening exercises that target the joint and the muscles around it.
Osteoarthritis Knee Exercise Treatment
The formulation of a regime using the following exercises will ensure that your knee is stronger, has enough time to heal and the pain is reduced. I would also advise additional support with either a pair of knee sleeves if you have issues with both knees or a knee brace if you only have the issue in one knee.
Here are some of the most effective knee exercises:
Knee Raises Exercise
- You need to be seated comfortably (a comfortable chair will be effective) ensuring that your back is straight and your feet’s soles are flat on the floor.
- Raise one foot slowly about 4 or 5 inches from the floor.
- As you keep this position, there will be a stretch in your thigh. Maintain the position for about 10 seconds and release slowly.
- Raise the other leg following the same steps.
- Repeat these steps 5 to 8 times for both legs.
Heel Raise Exercise
- For this exercise, you need to stand behind a chair with your hands placed on it for support.
- While maintaining a straight back, place some pressure on our toes by raising your heels off the floor.
- Maintain the position for about 5 seconds then relax and bring your heals down.
- 4 repeat this exercise about 10 times, rest for 2 to 3 minutes and do another 10 times.
- If your knee hurts too much with the raise of your heels, you can sit and repeat the exercise to reduce the weight exerted on the knee.
Side Kicks Exercise
- This exercise requires being behind a chair standing and placing your hands on it.
- Holding the chair to provide support, raise your right leg to your side and raise it about 3 to 4 inches from the floor.
- This position should be held for about 4 seconds and released.
- Make sure that your back is straight, your waist is not bended and you only use one hip to carry the weight. Any other way of going through this exercise might be a risk to causing more harm.
- The steps above should be repeated with the other leg and each leg should get about 10 raises.
Hamstring Stretch Exercise
This is a stretching exercise that is aimed at strengthening the knee and making it limber.
- You need to lie on your back with both legs extended out.
- Take a towel, or bed sheet and use it to raise your foot around 60 degrees by looping it around the sole and making sure the foot is stretched and straight at the knee.
- This position should be maintained for about 20 seconds.
- Bring the foot down and repeat the same process with the other foot, maintaining the position for 20 seconds and releasing.
- This exercise should be repeated about 10 times for both legs
Pillow Squish Exercise
- This exercise should be done while you lie on the bed, or a soft comfortable surface with your legs bended such that your soles are flat on the top of the bed.
- Place a pillow (make sure it is a soft pillow) between your knees and hold them together.
- Squeeze the soft pillow ensuring that both legs apply equal force. This should be done for about 5 seconds.
- Release the pillow and relax your legs, then squeeze it again for 8 to 10 more times.
- You can do this exercise while sitting and the results will be equally effective.
All the above osteoarthritis knee strengthening exercises are geared towards strengthening your knee joint and the muscles around it to give it ample time to heal and strength to prevent further damaged caused by this condition.