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Updated by egamble on Jun 07, 2020
Headline for 5 Types of Exercise for People with Knee Arthritis
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5 Types of Exercise for People with Knee Arthritis

Exercise is one of the first treatments recommended for people with arthritis. There are many forms of exercise with proven effectiveness for people with knee arthritis.

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Stretching

Stretching

When we look at the entire body of research done on arthritis it is clear that exercise is beneficial. The type of exercise you choose to perform matters less than how consistent you are. A 2019 review of 103 different clinical trials found 4 different types of exercise to be beneficial for people with hip and knee arthritis. These were aerobics, mind-body exercise (yoga or tai chi), strength training, and stretching. A regular stretching routine was proven to be beneficial for decreasing pain and improving function and quality of life. Learn More

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Strength Training

Strength Training

In 2016, a panel of medical experts across the world reviewed the best evidence looking at exercise for people with hip arthritis. Compared to all other forms of exercise, these experts found strength training to be the best for decreasing pain, improving function, and regaining mobility. Recommendations include performing one to three 45-minute sessions each week. You can use exercise equipment at a local gym or fitness center. For most people, it is more practical to start strength training at home without all the fancy equipment. Learn More

3

Balance Training

Balance Training

The Otago Exercise Program (OEP) is a proven falls prevention program for older adults. The OEP is especially beneficial for adults 75 years and older. A 2018 clinical trial looked at the OEP to improve balance, fear of falling, and falls risk in older fallers with knee arthritis. Older adults performed the OEP 3 times per week in their own home. After 6 months, those who were consistent with performing their exercises showed significant improvements in balance and reduced their fear of falling. This study provides a framework to build your own home exercise program. Learn More

4

Mind-Body Exercise

Mind-Body Exercise

A 2016 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine compared the benefits to Tai Chi to physical therapy treatment for people with knee arthritis. After 12 weeks, both groups showed similarly large improvements in pain, function, walking ability, depression scores, and overall well-being. This study suggests Tai Chi is an effective treatment option for people with arthritis. In particular, Tai Chi is a viable option for people seeking a group exercise experience. Those looking for more individualized exercise instruction would be better off working with a physical therapist to start. Learn More

5

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic Exercise

Arthritis pain leads to reduced mobility and poor physical fitness in older adults. Pain from arthritis starts a viscous cycle. This includes reduced physical activity, depression, more pain, and ultimately worsening health and quality of life. Does this sound painfully familiar? People with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, should perform regular aerobic exercise. We do not recommend excessive rest and relaxation. Regular exercise leads to improved functional abilities that are important to perform your daily activities like shopping and taking care of your home. To maintain aerobic fitness and weight control, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends you perform aerobic exercise 3 to 5 days a week for 20 to 60 minutes each day. The type of aerobic exercise you perform is completely up to you. Also, it is important that you select the method that resonates most with you so you can stick to it. Learn More