© 2018 OA Knee Pain. All Rights Reserved.

These are the exercises most people dread. Aerobic or endurance exercises work to strengthen the heart and lungs and we often associate these with running and high impact workouts. Naturally, not too many people living with osteoarthritis of the knees are going to be doing much marathon running or cardio circuits in the gym, but still, they need to make sure that their blood is pumping and their lungs are functioning well, to fight off the symptoms of the condition.

If you have symptoms of arthritis, aerobic exercise is important for many reasons. Firstly, conditioning gives you the benefit of reducing fatigue, which means more stamina during the day. Aerobic exercise also reduces the likelihood of weight gain that can further exasperate the symptoms of painful and swollen knees. It also releases endorphins and other hormones, which make you feel better throughout the day, and also help you sleep better at night. For many people who experience osteoarthritis knee pain at night, a good night’s sleep can make all the difference for the next day. Relying on sleep medications to get this sleep suppresses the body’s ability to move naturally in your sleep and this can further irritate the condition.

Aqua aerobics

Depending on how severe your osteoarthritis of the knees is, there are several exercises you can do which are motion enhancing, aerobic and strengthening. The classic favourite, which can be enjoyed by all, is aqua aerobics. In these classes, an instructor stands on the side of the pool and leads a class, usually to music. Participants are submerged up to their chests in water and are asked to copy the instructor’s movements.

The effect of being in the water while exercising is highly beneficial to anyone living with painful or swollen joints. As the water is able to take a portion of the weight of your body, the demand on joints is reduced. This allows you to move in ways, which would normally be too painful. This buoyancy also allows you to straighten out joints, not just your knees, but your hips and lower back too, which has a knock-on positive effect on your knee joints. Call your local swim centre to ask if they have classes designed for people with arthritis or limited mobility.


Walking is also a very good all over conditioning exercise. It improves circulation, fights off heart disease, lowers blood pressure and strengthens the heart and lungs. In cases of osteoarthritis knee pain, walking obviously impacts the range of motion and flexibility of the affected joint. It also includes an element of endurance, as walkers can slowly increase the lengths of their walks as they become fitter. The important thing to remember with walking and osteoarthritis of the knee or any medical condition is to always walk with someone or to let someone know where you’re going and when you will be back. If you have weakness associated with your condition, consider using a medical support or brace until your stability returns.

Plan your route and know where you might be able to stop to take a break. It is also a good idea to pay attention to the weather forecast, to avoid overly cold days and to make sure you are suitably dressed. By wearing layered clothing you can easily remove an item if you become too warm and replace it as you cool down, as it’s important not to let working muscles become too cold.

If both walking and getting in the swimming pool still seem like a leap too far, there are plenty of exercise routines you can do from your own sitting chair. Regularly rolling your ankles, moving your knees, clenching your buttocks and stretching all help with motion and strength, if done often enough.

Sign up to the OA Knee Pain newsletter

OA Knee Pain Social Board

Bringing you the latest news, research and treatment breakthroughs from the world of osteoarthritis

Visit our blog

  • blog
  • facebook

AXA PPP in partnership with Össur, creator of the Unloader One

This year AXA PPP has announced that it will now be funding conservative treatment for unicompartmental osteoarthritis under its private healthcare cover in the form of offloading knee brace, the Unloader One. The Unloader One knee brace is the only knee brace funded by AXA PPP for the treatment of osteoarthritis as an alternative to surgical intervention, where appropriate. This means that the knee brace, which usually costs £599 out of pocket for a patient looking to pursue alternative, non invasive treatment, is now available for free under the healthcare cover provided by AXA PPP.


​5 Things to ask your employer to improve your workplace

A healthy workplace environment is not just a right, but also a need. We spend a significant portion of our lives in offices, factories, service stations and more and when employers fail to deliver a healthy environment, employees and ex-employees can pay with their health for years to come.


​Don't suffer in silence – Encouraging people to seek help

Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is a very common long-term condition. Data collected in the UK and in the USA indicate that at least one-in-five people over the age of 45 have the condition to some degree. And, as you get older, the likelihood of the condition developing increases.


​Joint pain – do’s & don’ts

Many people experience joint pain at some time during their life. There are various possible causes of pain in the joints, but most frequently it occurs as the result of an injury or arthritis.


​3 steps to explaining your OA to your family

A diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA) will likely have an impact on your daily life. However, it will also impact those around you. You may have mobility issues or require additional support in certain areas. In order for those around you to provide the support you need and to put their minds at rest about your diagnosis, it is important that they fully understand the condition. If you have recently been diagnosed with OA, but have yet to discuss it with those closest to you, here are three steps to explaining the disease to your family.


Five Lifestyle & Nutrition Tips for Healthy Bones

Written for OA Knee Pain by Registered Dietician Nichola Ludlam-Raine. Nichola works as an NHS, freelance and private dietician and has appeared on BBC breakfast a number of times to provide her expert opinion. Here she tells us about the top 10 lifestyle and healthy eating tips for before and after surgery.


​How a knee injury can increase your risk of Osteoarthritis

According to the NHS, osteoarthritis affects about 8 million people in the UK. While in many cases, the condition develops as a result of the slow degeneration of joints brought on by ageing, your susceptibility for developing osteoarthritis in the knee may increase if you have previously suffered an injury to the joint.


Knee OA: Linking activity and pain (KOALAP)

The link between physical activity and knee pain is something that we are all aware of and make assumptions about but there hasn’t been any concrete research, until now. The same group of researchers from the University of Manchester responsible for the Cloudy with a chance of Pain study have created the Koalap.


​Occupational risk OA

There is a strong link between our work and our health. We all spend a lot of time in our jobs and so it is important to analyse the risks involved and understand how our job can affect our health. With osteoarthritis, there can be many risk factors to consider at work. It is vital to assess what factors increase the risk of developing OA and how OA can be managed at work.


​Cloudy With A Chance Of Pain

Many people experiencing knee pain express concerns or complaints about certain weather condition causing painful episodes or an increase in usual chronic pain. As this is quite common, it was a surprise to find that there doesn’t currently exist any scientific data or research on the existence of a relationship between the weather and pain; that is until now.