Arthritis In The Knee: 5 Exercises That Can Help Lessen Your Pain

The Arthritis Foundation reports that osteoarthritis is something that impacts the lives of roughly 27 million Americans. This includes OA of the knee, which can be extremely painful. The knee is among the most common areas of the body affected by OA. Although moving your ailing knees is the last thing that you may want to do, it is one of the most important things that you should be doing. This is because exercise can help reduce pain and improve mobility. Here are five exercises that will help you put up a fight against knee arthritis:

1. Straight Leg Raises

This particular exercise is performed while you are lying flat on your back on the ground. You will bend one leg and keep the other leg completely straight with the foot just slightly off the floor. Hold this position for about five seconds. Do this about five times to start with. Repeat with the second leg. This is a good exercise that can be done while lying in bed when you wake up in the morning or right before bedtime.

2. Hamstring Stretches

Lie on the bed or floor with both of your legs bent at the knee. Lift one of your legs and bring the knee toward your chest. Place your hands behind the thigh and try to straighten the leg. Pull it as close to your head as you can and hold the position for about 30 seconds. Then you can lower your leg back to its starting position and do the same with the other leg.

3. Step-Ups

Get a platform that you can step up on or do this exercise at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Start with the foot of your choice and bring it up to the top step. Bring your other foot up to the same step. Now, you'll go back to the bottom step with one foot at a time. Do this about 20 times or as much as you can in a minute. Remember, this doesn't have to be done quickly. However, as you get better at it, you can try to do it faster so that you are doing more step-ups within the same period of time.

4.  Knee Squats

With a chair in front of you to hold onto for support, squat down as if you are about to sit in a chair. Return to your standing position. Repeat about 10 times. As you start to improve with this exercise, make sure to squat just a little bit further and possibly do it more than 10 times.

5. Pillow Squeezes

You can either sit in a chair or lie on your back on the floor or in bed. If you are lying down, bend your knees. Put a pillow in between your knees and squeeze them together. Hold this squeeze for roughly five seconds, then relax. Continue to do this 10-20 times.

While all of these exercises can help your knee, you don't want to push yourself so hard that you are trying to push through the pain. If you do this, you may actually be causing more harm. While soreness is to be expected, you should consult with your doctor if the soreness or pain doesn't subside. In addition, it is recommended to speak to a specialist like Noyes Knee Institute regarding the arthritis in your knee. This is because if it is severe enough, you may be eligible for surgery, such as MAKOplasty.