When it comes to arthritis many people experience the pain and stiffness in their knees. After all, it’s a joint that has had plenty of wear and tear over the years. But in order to keep that pain and stiffness at bay, you have to move your knee joint. Here Function Jigsaw’s Clinical Programme Manager Tom Heeley gives some simple knee exercise tips you can do at home in order to get your knees moving that more freely.
As with all exercises if you feel any of these are beyond what you are capable of or cause you pain please stop immediately.
Static quads strength
How to do it:
Lay or sitting upright, place a rolled towel or pillow under your knee and tense your quadriceps to push into the towel and aim to straighten your knee. Ensure your heel is still in contact with the floor and does not raise up. This can be completed several times through the day in blocks of 10-15.
To strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee, specifically the quadriceps. Doing this in a seated or lying position is a safe position for the knee too.
How to do it:
Similar to above, tighten your thigh (quadriceps) muscles and push into the towel then raise your whole leg off the floor by about 6 inches, hold there for 2 seconds, slowly lower back down and repeat 10-15 times, again this can be completed morning, noon and night.
To enhance quadriceps and thigh strength and to be completed in a safe non-weight bearing position.
Seated knee extensions
How to do it:
From a seated position wrap a light elastic band (available here at www.functionjigsaw.co.uk) around your ankles, straighten your knee whilst keeping one leg still. A chair leg could even be used to attach the looped band around, tighten your thigh muscles and extend your leg out in front, this can be completed 10 times before increasing the resistance and moving through the coloured bands.
To build up strength through a greater range of movement but still without weight bearing.
Sit To Stand
How To Do It:
This is such an easy one to do at home but can have huge benefits. Simply stand with your knees roughly shoulder width apart bend and then rise back up again. Don’t worry if you can’t get down too far, to begin with. Start doing repetitions of this of 10 per morning and the same in the evenings. Remember, keep your back nice and straight and as vertical as possible. All your weight should be going through your heels and try to push through here to stand up from the sitting position.
By doing this you are strengthening your knee stability while also working the thigh muscles. The movement will act as a pump to the knee joint, essential in cleaning out and bringing new synovial (lubricating) fluid to the joint, while also building the muscle to better support your knee.