Exercises for Arthritic Knees

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Strengthening muscle around your knee is key.
Strengthening muscle around your knee is key.

Arthritis in your knees can be a painful condition to live with. Many people all over the world suffer from knee pain as a result of osteoarthritis or because of an underlying condition such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune diseases. While exercising may not be pleasant at first, it is important to strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the arthritic joint to properly support it.

Squats

Stand up against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly, stopping if you feel any pain. Hold for a count of three (increase to five and then ten as you are able) and then release. Repeat this five times in a row, repeating as many times a day as you are able.

Stretches

Lay on the floor face down. Grab your right ankle with your right hand and pull it toward your buttocks until you feel a stretch. Hold for a count of five and then release. Repeat this on the other side for a total of ten times on each side and increasing as you are able.

Get Moving

Endurance exercises are also important for those with arthritic knees. Using the elliptical (start slowly at about 5 to 10 minutes and increase over time) can help with your endurance while strengthening the muscles around your knees. Riding a bicycle (stationary or mobile) is also a good way to maintain your strength. Make a note to ride it for 10 minutes each day, increasing as you are able. While these exercises are great for your knees, it is important to remember not to partake in activities such as running until you feel your knees are strong enough. Refrain from jogging or using the treadmill, as this can "slam" your knees making your arthritis worse.

Take Note

Talk to your doctor before beginning your exercise regimen. He may recommend you do certain activities or stay away from others based on your individual case. Sometimes, it will be recommended that you lose weight to avoid straining your knees even further. In addition, you should stop doing an activity if you feel any pain.

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