Do: Choose Low-Impact Exercises
Low-impact aerobic exercises such as walking, biking, and swimming are considered joint-friendly. They help build strength around the affected joints and keep them aligned and functioning properly.
Don’t: Engage in Repetitive, High-Impact Exercises
Joint-pounding exercises such as running and tennis can tax your already damaged knees. You stop using your muscle because it hurts, you lose strength, and then your alignment isn’t good either
Do: Incorporate Strength and Flexibility Training
A fitness plan for osteoarthritis should include strength and flexibility training along with aerobic exercise. Strengthening exercises help support the muscles around the joint, while stretching can maintain and sometimes improve flexibility around the knee.
Do: Warm Up and Cool Down
Don’t jump right into your workouts if you have knee osteoarthritis. In general, a warm-up lubricates your joints so that you’re less stiff and it’s easier to move, which lowers the risk of sustaining any injury during your workout. Cooling down helps you reset after exercise
Do: Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight puts greater pressure or stress on your already damaged knees. If you’re overweight, losing weight can relieve knee pain and improve function
Do: Wear Comfortable Supportive Shoes
There are a fair number of studies that suggest shoe choice matters if you have knee osteoarthritis,. In fact, flat, flexible shoes that mimic the foot’s natural mobility can decrease the force placed upon the knee during daily activities.
Don’t: Be Afraid to Use Assistive Devices
Canes and knee braces can play a role in decreasing knee osteoarthritis pain and improving function.
Do: Take Medications as Prescribed
Over-the-counter or prescription-strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the mainstays of knee osteoarthritis treatment. While effective, they do come with their share of side effects. Other treatments are also available to help relieve knee pain, stiffness, and swelling, including analgesics, corticosteroids, and hyaluronic acid.
Don’t: Ignore New or Worsening Symptoms
Knee osteoarthritis is a chronic condition, which means that pain is always possible. However, if pain grows more severe and occurs at rest instead of after periods of activity, or if it awakens you from sleep, it could mean that your knee osteoarthritis is progressing. Other symptoms such as swelling, a locked knee, or one that just gives way are concerning.