Knee pain is a very common complaint. As the population gets older it is expected that the number of people with knee pain will also increase. The most common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis or “arthritis”.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is just a fancy name for a “wear and tear” process where the cartilage that surrounds the knee joint wears down over time.
Common symptoms of Knee Arthritis
Pain, stiffness, limited movement. Inactivity seems to make knee pain worse while movement makes the knee feel better.
After receiving a diagnosis of Osteoarthritis many patients are told to use ice, heat or anti-inflammatory medications to help manage pain. Physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic treatments and massage therapy can also help manage pain.
How Movement Can Help
Strengthening the muscles around the knee joint can reduce knee pain and improve mobility. Improving the strength of the quadriceps muscles (at the front of the thigh) and the hamstrings (muscles at the back of the thigh) has been shown to reduce knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
Low impact exercises like walking, swimming and tai chi have also been shown to reduce knee pain. It is also very beneficial to meet with a health care professional who can help develop a unique training program and supervise and adapt programs based on progress.
There are several options when it comes to selecting exercises that can reduce knee pain. You can do it yourself or you can use a professional health care provider.