Thursday, September 3, 2009

Basic Exercises for Severe Osteoarthritis

The big problem with exercising for severe arthritis is that everything hurts and seems to make things worse.  You quickly become discouraged and give up. Sound familiar?
If you have very bad arthritis and all of the normal exercises done in weight bearing aggravate your knee, it is time to take a step back.

The following exercise should not be the starting point for everyone. You should start with the best exercises you can manage. The following will be too easy for some and they would get quicker results with tougher exercises.

For those in a lot of pain.......

There are 2 things you can do to exercise and remove some of the strain from you knees.
  1. Do non-weight bearing exercise
  2. Do exercises that involve little or no movement of the knee.
These are the two things that hurt so lets take them out of the equation.

Your starting exercise is The Straight Leg Raise.


  • Lie on your back
  • Bend the opposite knee up a little and rest the foot down. This is your starting position. One leg up, one leg out straight.
  • Lift your leg up into the air keeping it as straight as possible. Slowly lower the leg back down in a controlled manner. Do not let it flop.
  • Repeat
The aim is not to see how high you can lift your leg. The aim is to fatigue the muscle so it does not matter if you only lift it a few inches. Initially, the lowering to the bed will be in a smooth arc. The muscle will quickly fatigue and you will notice this lowering becoming increasingly jerky. Once you are struggling to control the leg it is time for a rest.

Below is a video of the straight leg raise. If you have arthritis in both knees you are unlikely to be able to bend the non-exercising knee this much. Just find a comfortable position. You also do not need to lift your leg this high. This instructional video is for knee replacement surgery but the exercise is valid for non-operated knees as well. These exercises should not increase your usual knee pain. You will hopefully get the tired ache of fatigued muscles but that it sit.

1 comment:

  1. Arthritis is one of the most common causes of chronic pain. But, arthritis pain relief is not so common. There are over one hundred diseases associated with arthritis, affecting areas in and around joints. I am totally agree with you that natural and herbal treatment is better! I have a mild Arthritis which comes and go. I am taking medicines which is prescribes by my doctor but I am still looking for a natural and alternative way to control Arthritis. I am going to use this Chinese herbal medicine. Hope I will come out from this problem as soon as possible.