When you suffer from osteoarthritis (OA) in your knees or hips, you are probably used to dealing with daily pain. This pain can make it difficult to complete tasks, move about the house, or even simply get up out of your favorite chair. In many cases, an elective surgery like a knee or hip replacement becomes the only option to truly alleviate your pain.
However, before scheduling a surgery, you can take some preventive measures to help keep the knee pain or hip pain you’re experiencing daily in check.
Treatments for Knee Pain or Hip Pain
A study conducted by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) resulted in some recommendations for those who suffer from OA in the knee or hip. First, maintaining a healthy weight is key, as carrying too much body weight can result in extra pressure on the joints. For those with knee pain in particular, losing 5% of your total weight can be an effective treatment in alleviating some of the pain associated with OA.
One of the best things you can do to keep your joints healthy is to stay as active as possible. The study by the OARSI found that a variety of exercises, especially low impact exercises like strength training, yoga, stretching, and core exercises help with both pain and physical function of the joints. In fact, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that exercise and physical therapy are just as effective as surgery at relieving chronic knee pain or hip pain from arthritis.
Knee Exercises and Hip Exercises that Alleviate Pain
Learning how to strengthen and stretch key muscles, as well as ways to protect and take care of your joints, can help you prolong their health. Taking part in a physical therapy or exercise program can help postpone the need for a knee or hip replacement, especially if your OA is currently on the mild to moderate side. However, just make sure you’re avoiding activities that can further aggravate your joint pain.
Some of the best exercises for hip pain or knee pain include:
A strong core keeps your back in a neutral position and your hips and knees in the optimal position for movement without added stress on the joints. Plus, core exercises improve overall body strength, keep you balanced, and are key for pain management. Pilates, yoga, or working your abs with a fitness ball can all help improve your core strength.
Non-weight bearing exercises
High impact activities like running can be great for your health but hard on your joints. Instead, try water aerobics, swimming, or utilizing an elliptical machine or bicycling to get your heart rate up without putting more stress on your joints.
Strength training and endurance exercises help provide relief from chronic pain, as even just a small change in your muscle mass can make a noticeable difference in your abilities. Strengthening exercises can increase bone density to help reduce the risk of fractures, especially in women age 50 to 70 years old.
Hip extensions in particular are great for both knee pain and hip pain. These helpful exercises strengthen the glutes, which in turn alleviates the unnecessary stress on your hips, knees and ankles.
American Senior Communities provides physical therapy through our Moving Forward Rehabilitation program, available throughout our locations. Also, our New Energy Wellness program is a unique fitness program for seniors designed to promote an active lifestyle. Contact us today to request more information.