At one time people thought that there was only a limited role for exercise in the management of knee arthritis as it was thought it would aggravate the condition, but over the last few years the medical profession have been looking at how exercise can be beneficial for knee arthritis.
Aerobic and strength training for knee osteoarthritis
Aerobic training, strength training or a combination were all found to improve pain symptoms, although the magnitude of the improvement varies. Although supervised exercise programmes are beneficial, patients tend to pull out mostly because of the burden of participation, and the travel and time constraints. However, a home exercise programme for OA of the knee can provide important benefits, while adding a small number of clinical visits for manual therapy and supervised exercises and stretching offers even greater symptomatic relief.
Exercise and knee osteoarthritis: benefit or hazard? Bosomworth NJ. Can Fam Physician. 2009 Sep; 55(9): 871–878.
Exercise Alters Gait Pattern but Not Knee Load in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis Chang S-Y, Lin Y-J, Hsu W-C, Hsieh L-F, Lin Y-H, Chang C-C, Chou Y-C and Chen L-F. Biomed Res Int. 2016; 2016: 7468937.
Continuous versus interval walking for knee arthritis
Prescription of continuous walking of more than 30 minutes per session may lead to a significant increase in pain, whereas interval walking may lead to benefits without a change in pain. Interval walking of three 15 minute sessions on a treadmill per day is more beneficial than longer walks.
The Influence of Continuous Versus Interval Walking Exercise on Knee Joint Loading and Pain in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis. Farrokhi S, Jayabalan P, Gustafson J, Klatt BA, Sowa GA and Piva SR. Gait Posture. 2017 Jul; 56: 129–133.
Knee traction for the arthritic knee
Traction has a positive effect on knee arthritis pain. With ankle weights on each ankle (4.5 kg) and sitting on a raised surface like a high bed, with the legs able to swing over the edge with the feet off the floor, patients with arthritis can perform simple swinging exercises in an arc of 20-30 degrees. This allows movement of the joint without weightbearing or aggressive quads contraction, while at the same time the traction has an helpful effect on the pain.
WATCH VIDEO by Adam J. Story, DC.