About 12% of adults in the U.S. have painful arthritic knees that limit their mobility. This reduction in mobility and overall activity level make them more susceptible to more serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
The general thought today is that surgery is the best way to “fix” this. However, new research is showing that exercise and conservative treatment for the arthritic knee is just as effective [...]
as many common knee surgeries (knee scopes and some joint replacements) in the long term and people should think twice before rushing into a surgery-particularly a knee replacement.
So, how does one exercise when the knee is too painful to even walk? Well, this is where an individualized approach to exercise needs to be considered. Not every exercise is appropriate for every patient and there really is no “one-size-fits all” knee exercise program. However, through a detailed assessment of an individual’s current condition, prior activity levels, and goals, a program should be able to be set up for most people that allows them to improve. I did a short video on this topic which can be viewed below.
Exercise programs for knee arthritis may include some sort of aerobic exercise, strength training, flexibility, or some different movement strategies to help the individual move differently with less pain. Which form will take priority will depend on each person.
The other key component of any exercise program for knee arthritis is that the individual be educated in how to progress or regress the exercise program depending on symptom response during or after the exercise. Many people try to exercise only to quit because it hurts too much. Program like this are not set up appropriately for that individual and need to be revised a bit.
Painful knees from arthritis can be helped without surgeries, injections, or medications by hands-on treatment to help with pain, combined with education and an individually tailored exercise program, which will not only help the knee, but will improve an individual’s overall health.
Thanks for reading and don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions.