Quad Strengthening Exercises You Can Do Even When You Have Knee Arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in the USA today as it affects over 30 million people. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another type of arthritis. The one part of the body that is most affected by painful arthritis is the knee, and it can suffer from both rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.
What Is Knee Arthritis?
Knee arthritis is when you have inflammation in the knee joint. Since knee joints are responsible for leg movement, walking and standing up can be uncomfortable or painful. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis associated with inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation as a result of an overactive immune system.
How Is Knee Arthritis Treated?
Knee arthritis treatment varies depending on the specific knee condition and your unique situation. Treatment options for knee arthritis can include:
- Taking a break from activities that can cause stress on the knees
- Physical therapy
- Knee braces
- Knee injections
- Weight loss
- Surgical treatments
When you’re dealing with knee arthritis, it can be a painful experience, but knee exercises can help strengthen your knee and reduce the effects of arthritis. Exercises that strengthen the muscles that support your knee reduces stress on your knee joint. The muscles in the front thigh (quadriceps) and back of your thigh (hamstrings) aid in absorbing shock to the knee joints. You can relieve knee pain when you lessen the strain you have on your knees by building your muscles. You’ll also help prevent further injuries.
Stretching & Strength Basic Exercises:
- Seated hip march: This exercise strengthens your thigh muscles. Sit straight in a chair. Keeping your toes on the floor, place your left foot back slightly. Keeping your right knee bent, raise your right foot from the floor. You can use your hands to help lift your leg. Hold your right leg in this position for 3 seconds. Slowly let down the right foot to the floor. Perform two sets of 10 repetitions. Alternate legs after each set.
- Pillow squeeze: This exercise helps build up the muscles on the inside of your legs to help support your knees. Rest flat on your back and bend your knees, or you can sit in a chair. Put a pillow between your knees. Squeeze your knees together. Hold for 5 seconds, then release. Do two sets of 10 repetitions. Alternate legs after each set.
- Heel raise: Stand tall and hold the back of a chair for support. You can also sit in a chair to do this move. Lift your heels up and rest on your toes. Hold for 3 seconds. Lower both heels slowly. Do two sets of 10 repetitions.
- Leg Raise Lying Down: Lie flat on your back on the floor or bed. Keep your arms at your sides and toes pointed up. Keeping your leg straight, tighten your leg muscles. Slowly lift your leg a few inches. Tighten your stomach muscles to push your lower back down. Hold for a count of 5. Slowly lower your leg. Repeat, and then switch to the other leg.
Caution on Pain and Swelling When Exercising
When exercising to strengthen your knees, you may experience mild pain, but that is to be expected. Stop and see a doctor if you see swelling or if you experience severe pain.
If you’re feeling pain caused by knee arthritis, the first step in restoring your mobility and quality of life is scheduling a consultation with an experienced orthopedic knee specialist. Dr. Peter K. Sculco provides personalized, high quality care combined with first-rate orthopedic training. Call 212.606.1771 today or fill out the form on this page to request an appointment.