Physical Activity

Exercises for Osteoarthritis of the Hip & Knee

Part 1 :  Introduction - Exercises for Arthritis of the Hip and Knee

An exercise program that targets specific muscle groups and the area (s) affected by osteoarthritis can help reduce pain and disability. A program for osteoarthritis of the hip and knee should include: aerobic (cardio) activity, muscle strength, neuromuscular exercises, and flexibility exercises.

Part 2 :  Starting an Exercise Program

An increasing amount of research supports the effectiveness of activity and exercise as a self-management strategy for osteoarthritis as well as many other chronic diseases.  Exercise and activity ARE the magic pills. Activity and exercise can help feed your joints.  They can also help to relieve stiffness, improve strength & energy, limit loss of muscle strength, help you manage your weight to reduce the load on joints, as well as provide a mood boost.

Part 3:  Exercises - Hip & Abductor Muscles (Glutes) 

If you only have a limited amount of time to exercise, be sure to target those muscle groups that you know are weak first. In most people, these are the hip abductors, hip extensors, and quadriceps.

Part 4:  Exercises - Quadricep, Hamstring and Calf Muscles

If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, consider adding strength training exercises for the quadricep, hamstring and calf muscles. 

Part 5:  Exercises - Trunk/Core Muscles

For low back pain, you will gain by adding exercises to strengthen the anterior, lateral and posterior muscles of the trunk.

Part 6:  Exercises - Stretches

Hold each stretch for 30 to 45 seconds without bouncing. Get to the point of feeling a slight discomfort in the muscle while still being able to stay relaxed and continue to breathe calmly. Repeat each stretch one to three times on each side.