Patient Information Resources

1089 Spadina Road
Toronto, AL M5N 2M7
Ph: 416-483-2654
Fax: 416-483-2654

Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

View Web RX

« Back

Mother complains and complains about her aching arthritic knees. We can even hear them creaking when she stands up after sitting for awhile. Her doctor keeps telling her to stay active and exercise. But how can she do that when she hurts so much?

People with knee osteoarthritis are encouraged to maintain an active lifestyle and to exercise those arthritic knees. But as you point out, that seems counter intuitive -- if your knees hurt, why would you move and exercise them more? But study after study confirms that this is good advice. For example, a large study was done by the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) that confirmed this counsel as good advice. The Osteoarthritis Initiative investigators are supported by a combination of public and private funds from around the United States. These investigators are from the well-known Rehab Institute of Chicago (RIC), Ohio State University, University of California (San Francisco), and Northwestern University School of Medicine. Their report based on over 2200 people with knee arthritis confirmed (again!) the advice to exercise and stay active. But patients have to be convinced that exercise really makes a difference. And sometimes they need a little extra help getting started. The first step is getting control of the pain, aching, and stiffness that often accompanies knee osteoarthritis. You might want to confer with her physician (with her permission, of course) and review what medications are being used and what might help get her on a more active course. Then find out what she would like to do if her knees weren't bothering her. Organizing a plan of action around what would motivate her might help improve compliance. Some seniors seek out group activities with friends or other seniors. There are walking clubs that meet in malls to walk together. There are pool exercise groups specifically designed for older adults with some physical limitations. Check with the Senior Citizens Center or Adult Aging Services in her area and find out what's available. For those who prefer to exercise alone, a home exercise bicycle might be just the ticket. There are also a variety of television shows aimed at the more sedentary population (e.g., Sit and Be Fit) who don't want to leave home. Even increasing her physical activity and exercise level a little can make a difference. Of course, it's possible that she would be a good candidate for knee replacement surgery, so that may be worth looking into. Whatever approach you take, experts agree the best advice physicians, public health professionals, and physical therapists can give older adults with knee osteoarthritis is to keep moving. Physical activity and exercise are proven to reverse decline and improve function.


« Back

*Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Mosaic Medical Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Mosaic Medical Group, LLC and used herein by permission.