Experts have known for a long time that exercise can help to improve the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (OA). In fact, we have shared a few blogs discussing this fact. But what are the best exercises for people suffering with knee osteoarthritis?
According to a recent study, an analysis of 48 previously published trials, certain types of exercise were better than others when it came to reducing pain in patients with knee OA. The study found that exercise programs that focused on either aerobic exercise or strength training worked best. Interestingly enough, the researchers found that combining both types of exercise in one session was less effective at reducing symptoms of knee OA. They theorize that people who combine both types of exercise may not get enough of either type to achieve the maximum benefits.
Additionally, the study showed that more frequent exercise is better than less. Researchers found that three exercise sessions per week provided more benefits than two sessions per week. That being said, increasing the intensity of aerobic exercise did not seem to boost the benefits. As for strength training, researchers determined that routines focused on strengthening the quadriceps were more beneficial than routines that focused on the legs in general.
While exercise looks different for everyone, one thing is clear: exercise can help to reduce symptoms of knee OA. The experts agree that any exercise is better than none. And it’s usually best to find something that you enjoy doing so that you’re more likely to keep doing it. If you’re not sure where to start, your doctor can help customize an exercise plan just for you.