How to Exercise if you have Knee Arthritis
A common question I receive from patients with knee osteoarthritis is how can they exercise. Meaning if they’re having pain, what can they actually do to continue to stay physically active. There are two aspects to question and problem. The first is if a goal is to stay significantly functionally active and physically active, then whatever physical activity you can do that is not causing pain in the knee, you should absolutely continue to do.
Number two it is really important to keep in mind that you want to be cautious and yet deliberate when it comes to physical activity when you have knee arthritis. Cautious in the sense that if there are activities that cause more than a 2 out of 10 level of pain in the knee, you want to make sure you’re not doing too much of that because it may actually be causing more damage and problems. Adjustments may involve modifying your activity level by reducing the level of weight, difficulty, or duration. It may also mean altering your activity to something that does not require so much strain on the knee. Or lastly it may require changing your technique and the manner in which you are doing that activity.
Being deliberate about your activity is also very important mainly because there may be certain exercises that are painful or difficult to do at one stage of your condition. As you gain more strength and stability, you may be able to do some of those prior painful exercises in a cautious and focused fashion as strength and stability improve. So being cautious and deliberate is a really key part to exercising with knee arthritis as well.
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