Health experts underscore the pivotal role of exercise as a paramount treatment for knee osteoarthritis, offering multifaceted benefits such as pain alleviation, enhanced daily functioning, and an improved overall quality of life. Dr. Pawan K. Gupta, the President of Medical and Regulatory Affairs at Stempeutics Research, shared valuable insights on exercises tailored to strengthen knees and alleviate knee osteoarthritis in an interview with Zarafshan Shiraz of HT Lifestyle.
Holistic Exercise Approach:
Health professionals advocate for a comprehensive approach encompassing strength training, overall fitness (aerobic exercises), and flexibility exercises as the most effective strategy for managing knee osteoarthritis.
Recommended Exercise Regimen:
- Walking: Recognised as a low-impact exercise, walking not only bolsters overall fitness but also mitigates knee pain effectively.
- Cycling: Another low-impact alternative, cycling contributes to cardiovascular health improvement and fortifies the muscles surrounding the knee joint.
- Swimming: Particularly advantageous for individuals grappling with knee osteoarthritis, swimming stands out as a low-impact exercise, minimising stress on the joints.
- Yoga: Acknowledged for fostering flexibility and balance, yoga plays a pivotal role in reducing the risk of falls and curbing injuries.
Strength Training: A key component in the exercise arsenal, strength training aids in muscle mass development and enhances overall strength, leading to reduced pain and improved mobility.
Dr. Gupta emphasises the integration of mobility and coordination activities into the exercise routine. Simple yet effective practices, like standing on one leg during daily activities such as teeth brushing or attempting to stand on tiptoes with practice, significantly enhance coordination. He advocates for a gradual progression in workout intensity and underscores the importance of paying attention to the body and halting exercises in the presence of pain or discomfort. Prioritising a consultation with a healthcare professional before initiating any new exercise regimen is a prudent step.
Tailoring exercises to individual needs and constraints emerges as a potent strategy in the effective management of knee osteoarthritis. The recommended exercises not only target strength but also encompass flexibility and overall fitness, offering a holistic approach for individuals navigating the complexities of this condition.