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Strength Training for the Osteoarthritic Knee

In my previous blog post entry, I covered range of motion exercises for the osteoarthritic knee. The next step once you’ve completed a stretching routine is to correct the muscular deficits which usually contribute to the development and progression of osteoarthritis. Stretching should never be done in isolation and should always compliment an individualized strength training program. Strength training has shown to have a protective effect against OA and to have strong functional benefits by improving gait mechanics and overall mobility.

Here are some of my go to exercises for individuals who have knee osteoarthiritis:

1) Glute Bridges (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps)

– strengthens the gluteal and hamstring muscles groups

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5e-MeelgCo

2) Chair Squats (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps)

– strengthens the gluteal and quadricep muscle groups

– step height will needed to be altered based on available range of motion and pain tolerance

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SlRu9WtUOY

3) Dumbell Step Ups (repeat until onset of muscle fatigue)

– strengthens the gluteal and quadricep muscle groups

– step height will needed to be altered based on available range of motion and pain tolerance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaViKplBfQw

4) Lateral Step Ups (repeat until onset of muscle fatigue)

– strengthens the gluteal muscles groups and hip abductors

– step height will needed to be altered based on available range of motion and pain tolerance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GThrNeGcjGc

5) Stationary Supported Lunge (2-3 sets of 10-12 reps)

– strengthens the gluteal and quadricep muscle groups

– end position of lunge should be pain-free with the knee in line with the toes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gBVQpO-p6o

A few extra notes:

All of these exercises should be pain-free and each rep should be done at a controlled tempo, especially if your knee is moderately irritable and/or swollen. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to come in for a consultation to speak with our excellent practitioners at Lawrence Park Health.

In my next blog post, I will cover beginner theraband exercises for the hip and the knee.

References:

Latham, Nancy et al. Clin Geriatr Med. 2010 Aug; 26(3): 445–459. Strength training in older adults: The benefits for osteoarthritis.

Author: Clarence Lau, BSc (Hons) MPhtySt | Registered Physiotherapist

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