Osteoarthritis can be controlled with exercises. Here are some effective ones.
Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage and bones become weak and begin to degenerate. It can be a debilitating condition. However, the good news is that you can exercise and strengthen the weak joints. Given below are five such exercises.
Always begin with warm up so that your joints are flexed. Walking for five minutes is the best way to warm up because it does not put pressure on the joints. Once you are done with the warm up, proceed to these exercises.
Being overweight can exaggerate osteoarthritis.
Correct diet regime needs to be followed to prevent excessive weight gain
In United States, around 50 million adults are afflicted with osteoarthritis or some other form of arthritis
Lie down. Use a bed sheet. Hold the two ends of the sheet with both hands and loop it over your foot. Using the bed sheet, lift the looped leg up and hold it there. Count up to twenty. Gradually bend down your leg. Now, repeat the process. After two counts, exercise the other leg similarly. Exhale as you pull your leg and inhale as you straighten it. It is very important to ensure that your joints do not take the pressure of movement when you draw them in and out. Your hands and the bed sheet should do the work. This exercise strengthens weak joints.
Stretching calf muscles
Stand behind a chair and hold on to it for support. To begin the exercise, slowly bend one of your legs and step back with the other leg back. Do not bend the back leg. Heel should be pressing on to the floor so that no pressure is applied on the joints. You can feel a pulling sensation in your back leg. Now, straighten your bent leg and bring the back leg forward. Repeat the same process with the bent leg stepping backwards. To gain more benefits from the exercise, hold the exercise position for twenty seconds and repeat twice with each leg. Ensure that the bent leg knee does not go beyond the knees.
Leg raises are good for strengthening the leg. For the exercise, lie down on the floor. Raise your upper body with the help of your elbows. Fold your left leg keeping the foot firmly on the ground. The right leg should be kept straight. Slowly, lift your right leg about a foot from the ground and squeeze thigh muscles. Wait for five counts while keeping thigh muscles squeezed tight. Release the squeeze and bring the leg back to the ground. Repeat this with the other leg. Do ten counts on each leg. If you find this exercise difficult, you can tighten your thigh muscles while keeping your leg on the floor.
Sit on a chair with your back straight and shoulders pulled back. Slightly take your left leg back such that your toes are firmly on the ground. Lift the right leg as much as you can, using the thigh muscles. Take care that knees do not take the pressure. Hold the posture for five counts and lower right leg slowly to the ground. Do the other leg. Repeat the exercise ten times. Side leg raise Take position similar to calf muscles stretch exercise. Keep feet firmly on the ground. Putting your weight on right leg, slowly lift right leg to the side. Your leg should not bend. Take it straight up. Gradually lower it and repeat. Do ten sets with each leg.
Regular exercises strengthen muscles and make joints stronger, thereby reducing the discomfort caused by osteoarthritis.