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Exercise for osteoarthritis of the knee

It’s very important to keep your joints moving. You need to find the right balance between rest and exercise – little and often is usually the best approach.

There are two types of exercise that you’ll need to do:

Aerobic exercise:

  • increases your pulse rate and make you short of breath
  • helps you sleep better
  • is good for your general health
  • can reduce pain.

Strengthening exercises:

  • improve the strength and tone of the muscles that control your knee
  • help to stabilise and protect your knee joint
  • helps to reduce pain
  • can stop your knee giving way and so reduce your risk of falling.

physiotherapist can advise you on the best exercises to do, but you’ll need to build them into your daily routine to get the most benefit from them. You can also talk to your GP about the Exercise on Prescription scheme that’s available in some areas.

Swimming is very good for people with osteoarthritis because the water supports your weight, so you won’t put a lot of strain on your joints. Hydrotherapy (exercises in a warm water) can help get muscles and joints working, and it can be very relaxing.

If you know you’re going to be more active than usual, try taking a painkiller before you start to avoid increased pain later.


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