Knee arthritis exercises to avoid — and ones that help

Osteoarthritis is an extremely common, almost unavoidable, condition that affects millions of people. Due to the effects of aging, the cartilage that cushions the joints becomes more brittle and starts to wear down over time. This in turn leads to increased bone-on-bone contact and the joint inflammation that is the primary indicator of this condition. 

Among the load-bearing joints of the body, the knees are very prone to arthritis because of the tremendous weight they support during our normal activities throughout the day. Upon diagnosis, knee arthritis can be successfully managed — and exercise is a very important part of this process. However, there are some higher-stress exercises that should be avoided. 

One of the best ways to safely exercise arthritic knees, and avoid harmful exercises, is with the guidance of a professional physical therapist. 

Avoid these knee arthritis exercises

Any type of exercise that puts repetitive motion strain on the knees, or overloads them, can speed up cartilage degeneration and increase inflammation. This includes the following exercises and athletic activities: 

  • Running and jogging
  • Weightlifting, especially heavy loads and deep squatting
  • Sports that involve sudden stopping and starting, such as tennis
  • Sports and exercises that involve jumping, such as basketball and plyometrics

In contrast, lower-impact exercises such as walking, cycling, restorative yoga and therapeutic exercises can actually help to keep the knee joint stay mobile and strengthen the area to relieve stress. One of the best ways to ensure that you are performing these exercises in a way that promotes knee health is by working with a qualified professional, such as a physical therapist. 

Knee arthritis treatment at Back in Motion

If you’ve been diagnosed with knee arthritis, we want to help you achieve the level of activity and quality of life you deserve. When you come to us for physical therapy, you can find a team who is committed to patient-centered care and individualized treatment plans. With our expert instruction, you can receive evidence-based information on exercises and other therapies that can help you achieve your treatment goals for arthritis of the knee. 

Don’t let your condition run your life any longer. Reach out to our caring team to schedule your initial appointment today.