Osteoarthritis of the Knee - Recommended Exercises

 
 Key Points When Doing Exercises
 
  • The following exercises should be within the limits of pain.
  • Repeat the exercise 4 times a day.
  • The number of repetitions that are recommended is what you should aim for. 
  •  If you find the exercises hard to do or can only move a little way aim to build up to the total number of repetitions over a few days or even a couple of weeks. 
 
 
Exercise 1 -  Knee Flexion with Extension
 

Lie on you back with your legs straight and your feet together.  Lift the foot of your affected knee and bring your toes back towards you.  This will cause the knee to ‘lock’.  Gently pull your knee towards your chest until you feel a tightness through the knee joint.  Straighten the leg and place it back on the bed, push down and try to lock the knee straight.  If this is exercise is too painful place a tray or flat object with a slippery surface under the heel to allow the leg to slide more easily.

 
Target Repetitions = 10 
 
  
 

presented by Urmston Physio Clinic

 
   
 
 
Exercise 2 - Thigh Strengthening (Inner Range)
 

Lie on you back with a rolled up towel or pillow under the affected knee making a slight bend.  Point your toes upwards and slowly lift the heel off the bed until the knee is fully straight and you feel a tightness through the knee.  Hold this position for 10 seconds then gently return to the start.

 
Target Repetitions = 10
 
 
 

presented by Urmston Physio Clinic

 
 
  
 
 
 
Exercise 3  -  Thigh Strengthening (Straight Leg Lift)
 

Lie on you back with the affected leg straight and flat.  Pull the toes on the affected leg back to make the ankle flex.  Keeping the knee locked and the leg straight slowly lift the leg about 15 cm off the bed.  Hold for 10 seconds and gently lower the leg back to the start position.

 
Target Repetitions = 10
 
 

presented by Urmston Physio Clinic

 
  
 
 
 
Exercise 4  -  Squats
 

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms crossed in front of your chest.  Keeping your back straight and your head up, squat down as far as is comfortable but no further than a sitting position. Slowly push back up to the start position.  If you feel unstable or cannot balance when performing this exercise you can stand next to a table for balance and support.

 
Target Repetitions = 5
 
 
  

presented by Urmston Physio Clinic

 
 
 
 
 
Exercise 5  -  Sit to Stand Exercise
 

Sit on dining chair with your arms folded in front of you.  Keeping your feet together slowly stand up without using your hands and then slowly sit back down.  If this is too easy use a lower chair or try to take more weight through the affected leg.

 
Target Repetitions = 10 
 
 
 

presented by Urmston Physio Clinic

 
 
 
 
 
Exercise 6  -  Step Ups
 

Stand facing the stairs. If you cannot find your balance hold the hand rail for support.  Using your affected leg slowly step up onto the first step then bring the other leg onto the step.  Step back down with affected leg first.  If this is too easy do not hold on to the hand rail and go as slowly as possible or use a bigger step.

 
Target Repetitions = 10
 
 
 

presented by Umston Physio Clinic

 
 
 
 
 
 
Exercise 7  -  Bridging Exercise 
 

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the bed. Slowly lift your hips off the bed as high as you can comfortably manage.  Hold for 5 seconds and gently return lower back to the start position.  Make sure the head and neck are kept straight to avoid strain on the neck joints.

 

Target Repetitions = 10
 

presented by Urmston Physio Clinic