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The Best Exercises and Treatment Options for Knee Arthritis

More than 54 million Americans have arthritis, a progressive disease that causes joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Arthritis can develop in almost any joint, but one of the most common areas is the knee.

Your knees are weight-bearing joints, which means they get a lot of use and take a lot of stress in daily life. Whether you’re walking, standing, sitting down, or lifting something, you’re putting your knees to work.

Osteoarthritis, which is wear-and-tear arthritis, develops when the cartilage in your knee deteriorates. Cartilage is there to cushion the bones in your knee, but years of use wear it down and the bones start grinding against one another.

The symptoms of knee arthritis can limit your life, but the good news is that there are plenty of treatment options available. Our team at Manhattan Orthopedics partners with you to improve your mobility and reduce your knee pain.

Craig Dushey, MD, specializes in knee arthritis, and he takes a comprehensive approach to treatment. Today, we’re sharing his best tips for exercising and treating this common condition.

Get regular exercise

When arthritis makes your knees feel stiff and painful, exercising might be the last thing you want to do. But making exercise part of your routine is actually one of the best ways to prevent arthritis symptoms from getting worse.

If you have knee arthritis, the key to exercising safely and successfully is choosing low-impact activities. Avoid exercises that involve running and jumping. Participate in exercises that aren’t hard on joints, and that will help reduce your pain and stiffness over time.

The best exercises for knee arthritis

Look for low-impact activities to get all the benefits of exercise without aggravating your joint pain. Try going out for regular walks. Water aerobics and swimming are two more options that take stress off joints.

Stretching is an important part of your exercise routine too. Take the time to warm up, cool down, and stretch your muscles to avoid soreness. Try gentle hamstring, calf, and full-leg stretches to improve flexibility without breaking a sweat.

Consider physical therapy

If you’re not sure how to get started exercising safely, ask Dr. Dushey and our team if physical therapy is right for you. Physical therapy guides you through targeted stretches and exercises, building strength and flexibility in your joints.

Your physical therapist can help you find ways to exercise without increasing your risk of injury. If you struggle with certain activities, like climbing stairs, your therapist tailors your program to improve your ability to move in daily life.

Try different treatment options

Dr. Dushey always recommends starting with conservative arthritis treatment options. Along with exercise and physical therapy, he may suggest medication or other treatments to improve your arthritis symptoms.

Arthritis medication

Depending on your symptoms and the severity of your arthritis, a range of medications may be available for you. Dr. Dushey offers Synvisc® gel injections to add cushion within the knee joint, while steroid injections can address swelling and inflammation. Oral anti-inflammatories could also help minimize arthritis symptoms.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy

PRP therapy is a popular type of regenerative medicine. PRP is a natural solution that’s derived from your own blood. It contains growth factors and other proteins that boost tissue regeneration, and it’s particularly effective in managing knee arthritis.

Knee replacement

If you’ve tried conservative arthritis treatments and you’re still living with significant pain after several months, Dr. Dushey may recommend knee replacement surgery. He specializes in partial and total knee replacement procedures, along with knee replacement revisions.

You don’t have to let the pain of knee arthritis take over your life. Get personalized treatment options at Manhattan Orthopedics by visiting one of our three New York offices in Astoria, Manhattan, or Brooklyn. Contact us online or over the phone for your first appointment.

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