Exercise helps knee osteoarthritis and should be one of the first steps you take. Doctors recommend moving for 30 minutes a day in addition to your daily activities. If you can’t do that much at first, work up to it. Walking, biking, and water exercise are all ideal exercises for people with knee OA. Not only does exercise help strengthen your knee to support damaged joints; it also can help you keep a healthy weight or lose pounds to get there. And maintaining a proper weight takes extra pressure off sore joints.
Physical therapy can help you regain motion and flexibility of your knee and relieve pain. It may also strengthen the muscles that support your knee, increasing your balance and stability. A physical therapist (PT) can design a program for you that may include stretching and range-of-motion exercises, strengthening exercises, and cardiovascular exercises to help improve lung and heart fitness. A PT or occupational therapist can also prescribe braces or splints to support and stabilize painful knees or canes to reduce the load on your knee.
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