YOUR OSTEOARTHRITIS CARE GUIDE

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Additional information on Knee Osteoarthritis is available here.

PRIMARY STRATEGY

The key to managing osteoarthritis is movement. Too LITTLE movement weakens the knee, leading to more pain. To MUCH movement exacerbates the arthritis, also leading to more pain.

Much like Johnny Cash - you have to walk the line. 

MEASURED MOVEMENT

Keep the knee moving, but take it easy with activities that exacerbate your pain. This will allow the inflammation to settle down.

 

A consistent walking program is highly recommended. Avoid periods of prolonged inactivity/sitting as much as possible to keep the knee from stiffening up. 

ICE VS HEAT
If you notice swelling, go with ice instead of hot packs. However, for many individuals dealing with chronic osteoarthritis pain, heat seems to work best. 

 

EXERCISE
Begin a targeted osteoarthritis exercise program. For best results, make sure you address both strength and flexibility. Luckily you don't have to figure out which exercises to perform, our PT's have done it for you!

 

Due to your limited time, we have prioritized the top 4 exercises. See below.

 

Perform your exercises at least two times a day when possible for best results.

KNEE BRACES

The evidence on knee braces is mixed and should not replace exercises. That said, many individuals report significant pain relief with a good brace. For additional guidance, please view our Knee Braces Guide.

 

PERCUSSIVE MASSAGE

Percussive massage devices are a type of massager that use rapid, repetitive strokes to target deep tissue. These devices can be very effective at providing relief, but there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. Learn more and check out our favorites here.

NEURO-STIMULATION

RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES

Cycling and swimming are particularly good movement activities for knee arthritis due their non-weight-bearing nature. Once again, the key is consistency.

FREQUENCY
Try to do your exercises a few times a day. You can cycle down as the pain diminishes. But to be clear - osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition and will require long-term management using the strategies listed in this care guide.

WHAT TO EXPECT
These strategies should lead to noticeable improvement within a 3-5 days. 

JOINT CARE + YOUR INSURANCE

Not improving fast enough? Time to talk to a pro. To find a clinician who accepts your insurance, you can launch our Physiobot Care Access Specialist. Telehealth care available.

To review your Physical Therapy options, check out our PT Resource Guide.

RESOURCES

-- Check with your doctor or local physical therapist prior to initiating a new exercise program --

YOUR EXERCISES

Selected based on your condition match and care profile

Stretches

Hold for 45-60 seconds

1-2 repetitions per session

Perform on each side

Strengthening

10-15 repetitions per set

1 set per session

Perform on each side

Want to save for later? We are happy to email your exercises.

#1

Quadriceps Stretch

The quadriceps are located on the front of your thigh. When tight they add strain to the knee joint, which  exacerbates your pain.

#2

Hamstrings Stretch

The hamstrings are located on the back of your knee(s). Tight hamstrings place excessive strain on the knee joint as a whole, which increased pain and reducing function.

Short arc quads

#3

Short Arc Quads

This exercise targets the end range of knee extension strength. This range often weakens with localized knee inflammation from osteoarthritis, leading to knee buckling and pain.

#4

Quadriceps Strength

The quadriceps are some of the most important functional muscles in the body. When weak, pain and instability in the knee often occurs. This exercise strengthens without exacerbating your pain.