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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

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.

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How Does Age Affect People's Experiences Of OA?


​When we think about arthritis, there is a tendency to categorise it as an old person’s disease. We envision the little old lady struggling to make it across the road or the old man with a walking stick. But the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. There are thought to be around 10 million people living in the UK with the disease and these cover a range of ages from children right up to those over the age of 65.

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How Does The Body Clock Affect The Development Of OA


Various factors can affect our body clocks but this is usually a temporary situation. A series of late nights, shift patterns that change and long flights can produce temporary effects such as mood changes and sleep disruption. We commonly refer to this as jet lag and do not view it as a serious problem but it is now widely recognised that our biological clocks are also important to our general well-being and health.

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How Does Obesity Affect Your Risk Of OA Knee Pain


​Obesity has been known to be a serious health problem for many years, but the impact that being overweight can have on your knees is not always recognised. Seriously obese people are fourteen times more likely to develop osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee than people whose weight is within healthy parameters, so it follows that maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of knee pain due to this disease.

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What Are The Differences Between OA And Other Types Of Arthritis?


​There are over 100 different types of arthritis. The most common include osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), fibromyalgia and gout. Although there are many similarities between the different types of arthritis and the pain they cause, knowing which type you have can make the difference between successful treatment or further debilitation.

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Where Can I Turn to For Support For OA Knee Pain


Osteoarthritis causes increasing joint pain and stiffness in the knee. Tenderness and swelling are also likely to be present. This may be particularly the case immediately after you wake up, after overusing your knee, or when resting.

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How Can Tai Chi Help People With OA Knee Pain


​There is proof that the martial art tai chi can help with the symptoms and pain of knee osteoarthritis (OA). We look at the evidence below and explain how tai chi can improve the condition.

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The Effect Of Weather On OA Knee Pain


​Many of us are familiar with stories of people with injuries or joint conditions claiming to be able to predict the weather based upon their pain and stiffness. Whilst they are often met with polite nodding or even ridicule, there is evidence that there may be a genuine link between weather conditions and levels of pain. There is a growing body of research looking at the effect of weather on OA knee pain, but the results are far from conclusive.

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The Mental Health Impact Of OA Knee Pain


​Any injury to the knee can be particularly painful. This includes the mobility issues that often arise from osteoarthritis. As the knee is so important when standing or walking, damage to the joint can have a negative impact on your ability to accomplish day-to-day tasks. It is not, however, just the physical discomfort that can make life more difficult. As with any long-term injury, chronic pain in the knee can have a negative effect on mental health. For example, it can increase the likelihood of experiencing depression or anxiety.