Exercise and Massage Therapy for Knee Arthritis

Knee arthritis can bring life to a grinding halt. Experts have found it hard to believe this and have discovered ways to come out of it through exercise and massage therapies. Find out how you could make movement more easy and comfortable by engaging in various types of exercises and massage remedies.

Research on Benefits of Exercise for Knee Arthritis Patients

About 10 percent of arthritis sufferers are crippled with knee arthritis. Typical symptoms of pain, stiffness and tickling sensations called the crepitus make movement difficult. A physical therapy program including manual therapy and exercises proved to be effective for treating knee arthritis. Patients who underwent the physical therapy program reported reduced pain and stiffness. They were also seen to be walking further distances than that was covered in 6 minutes earlier.

Another study which evaluated about 1,200 people and more revealed that moderate exercises reduced the risk of developing knee arthritis. This was true for older people who even had overweight problems.

A research overview further revealed that exercises for knee arthritis gave a physical and emotional boost to people. An extensive analysis based on about 16 studies at the San Diego State University proved that exercise and self management programs together lessened the chances of contracting knee osteoarthritis. The research also suggested that additional treatments and therapies were necessary for curing knee arthritis.

What Exercises are Helpful and Safe for Knee Arthritis?

Finding the right balance between the following levels or classifications of exercises is considered to be ideal for treating knee arthritis:

  • Therapeutic exercises suggested by professionals
  • Recreational or general fitness exercises like swimming, walking, etc
  • Competitive and extensive level of exercises that require skill and rigorous training

Types of Exercises for Knee Arthritis

Knee pain can be effectively soothed with the help of the following exercises:

  • Strength Training Exercises: These exercises can be performed with convenient and light weight tools to strengthen the muscles and bones around joints.
  • Flexibility Exercises: These are nothing but stretch exercises that help in the better functioning of joints, correct postures and reduce the risks of injuries. Stretch exercises should be done thrice a week with a hold count of thirty counts for each stretch.
  • Range of Motion Exercises: These exercises should be performed for 5 to 10 minutes daily. It helps in reducing stiffness in joints.
  • Aerobic Exercises: These include exercises like walking, aquatic exercises, swimming, bicycling, etc. They are helpful in maintaining a rhythmic and repetitive motion of joints and important organs like the heart, lungs, muscles, etc.
  • Body Awareness Exercises: These exercises are helpful in improving posture, balance and coordination of the muscles and organs of the body. For example, proper and synchronized functioning of the body can be brought about by Yoga and Tai Chi exercises.

Benefits of Exercise for Knee Arthritis

A physical therapy through light weights and moderate exercises can be helpful in treating ailing knee joints. The reasons are listed here below:

  • Increases flexibility and strength of joints and muscles
  • Increases range of motion
  • Helps in maintaining body weight that can pressurize the hip and knee joints
  • Bones and tissues are strengthened
  • Reduces risks of injuries and accidents
  • Improves balance and endurance

How to Start Exercising for Knee Arthritis?

Start an exercise regime to manage and improve your pain in the knees keeping in mind the following points:

  • Start with short term and realistic goals that can be achieved by you
  • Reduce your boredom by finding a companion or friend to exercise with
  • Prepare a chart or log book of the exercises you are following each day
  • Learn to manage the obstacles that are obstructing your exercise regime
  • Recognize your needs and enjoy exercises rather than doing them out of a distaste

Arthritis Patients Need to do Exercises

Arthritis is a weakening condition of bones and muscles. It makes daily activities difficult to follow and adhere to. For example, you cannot climb stairs, sit back leisurely or walk comfortably. Starting with low impact exercises can help solve your day to day needs for activity. The American College of Rheumatology emphasizes that it is absolutely essential to include exercises for an osteoarthritis knee condition.

Consult your physician or physical therapist with the help of whom you can design individual exercises to meet your needs and lifestyle.

Massage Therapy for Knee Arthritis

Exercises along with a massage therapy can help in reducing joint inflammations, stiffness and pain effectively. A study by conducted by the Yale University School of Medicine revealed the following benefits of massage for knee arthritis:

  • It increases circulation of the blood at the knee joints. This cleans the joints off all impurities and debris. It also helps in repairing the condition of deteriorating cartilages.
  • Massage or general rubbing of the joints reduces pain in a way that it sends out sensory stimuli that counters or fights the pain stimuli.
  • It improves the flexibility of joints
  • Encourages further movement and activity

Massage is Effective for Arthritis

“Massage Therapy” is a process of applying pressure or vibration to the tissues of the body that include cartilages, tendons, muscles, etc. Some researchers remain skeptical about the effectiveness of massage therapy. According to them, massage affects and soothes the muscles and not the bones. Enough evidence however supports the view that massaging can help in reducing knee joint pains.