Osteoarthritis is one of the most common ailments caused by aging. It results in pain and inflammation in the joints, especially the knees.
Exercise is one of the best ways to find relief without drugs. Exercise helps the joints compress and release, bringing good things like nutrients and oxygen into the cartilage and increasing blood flow.
The three main types of exercises that help the most are ones that involve range of motion or flexibility, endurance or aerobic exercises, and strengthening exercises.
Range of Motion Exercises
Osteoarthritis makes it difficult for joints to function without causing pain. Even the simplest task can cause a great amount of pain.
Exercises like gentle stretching and taking joints through their full range of motion can help improve the movement in the joints and reduce pain.
Sitting knee extensions, hip flexor stretches, and other exercises like these can help.
These exercises help strengthen the heart and lungs at the same time you’re helping your joints. They can also help you maintain or lose weight since those extra pounds put stress on hip and knee joints.
Walking, swimming, biking, or elliptical training are lower-impact and are pretty joint-friendly. Begin with about 10 minutes at a time and increase the minutes every few days. The goal is about 30 minutes for five days a week.
Strengthening the lower back and lower extremities can help take some of the pressure off your hips and knees. Resistance bands or light weights can help with this. Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi can also help improve balance and build strength.
Getting up from a chair into a standing position and then sitting back down without using your hands for 30 seconds can be a good exercise. Squatting and standing against a wall can also be good. Standing on one leg for ten seconds at a time is also a way to strengthen your joints.
What Exercises Should You Avoid?
The key is making sure you don’t jump into any exercise routine too quickly. Make sure you build up your strength and endurance first.
For severe osteoarthritis, it’s best to avoid high-impact exercises like running, activities where you change direction quickly like tennis or basketball, and workouts that involve jumping.
For moderate symptoms, some higher-impact exercises can help stimulate cells to help repair cartilage.
Before beginning any exercise program, check with your doctor and make sure you know how to do the exercises correctly. A personal trainer or physical therapist can help teach you proper form. Don’t push through any pain. These exercises are only suggestions. The professionals at B3 Medical can help you find a non-surgical way to relieve your osteoarthritis pain and help you find the best exercises for your symptoms. Contact us today.
It’s that time of year again, time to get in shape. Not all of us want to go out and run a marathon and many of us can’t. Low impact workouts can be effective and protective.
Low impact usually means one foot always stays on the ground with less pounding on the joints. Remember, low impact does not mean zero risk. Make sure to warm up and stretch before any activity.
Walking is one of the most popular exercises around and its free. Grab a pair of good walking shoes and get moving. Look for breathable shoes with good arch support and heel padding.
If you want to ramp up the intensity, walk the hills or add some dumbbells or ankle weights to increase the heart rate. The number of calories you burn depends on your pace, the faster you walk, the more you burn.
Bicycling and riding a stationary bike are non-weight bearing so they’re easy on the joints. The more resistance you add, the more calories you can burn. Recumbent bikes provide back support so if that’s an issue for you, they might be an answer.
While swimming, you use all your muscle groups, so you can slim and tone the whole body at the same time. If laps aren’t your thing, water aerobics or water Zumba classes can be a great way to burn calories while not putting a lot of stress on your body.
Other Gym Machines
Elliptical trainers put less stress on the legs than treadmills. Try interval programs to really get the burn going and use the arm handles to get an upper body workout at the same time.
Stair climbers are also great. If you can’t go to the gym, any stairs will do.
Don’t forget rowing machines. They give you a total body workout of arms, legs, and core.
If you’re not sure about proper technique for the machines at the gym, ask a trainer or gym employee to show you how to use them. Doing something wrong could hurt you in the long run.
Strengthen the Knees and the Muscles Around Them
Many people stay away from exercise because their knees are bad. Sometimes, the knees are bad because the muscles around them which protect the knees are weak. Strengthening them can help.
Focus on the calves and hamstrings and make sure to combine stretching and strengthening exercises. Hold stretches for 30 seconds on each side to get the best results and always stretch again after any series of strengthening moves.
Strength training has many benefits. Working out with weights can increase your resting metabolic rate, helping you lose weight more effectively than by just doing cardio.
Building muscle can help prevent the decline in muscle and bone density and help prevent injuries and damage.
At B3 Medical, we’re all about keeping you healthy with a complete approach to your wellness. From family care, to nutrition counselling, to physical therapy services, we can help you stay healthy. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.