Joint stiffness and pain, associated with arthritis, commonly affects men and women over 45 years old. Those “creaky, old knees” can make getting out of bed, walking, and performing daily tasks difficult.
Here are some exercises to try first thing in the morning to make getting out of bed and tackling the day easier!
TIP: Warming up the joint can help manage stiffness and increase range of motion. Try applying a hot pack for ten minutes or taking a warm shower before attempting these exercises.
1) Straight Leg Raise
Do 10 of these on the painful side, taking 2 seconds to raise the leg and 2 seconds to lower. Make sure to bend up the opposite leg and protect the lower back.
2) Long Arc Quad
Do 15 of these over the edge of bed. Squeeze the thigh firmly as the leg becomes straight. Lower slowly on the way down.
3) Hamstring Curl
Do 15 of these. Make sure to keep the lower leg as still as possible, only bending at the knee.
4) Single Leg Balance
Do 3 of these on the painful leg. Standing for 30 seconds per repetition. Make sure to have a stable object by your side in case you lose your balance.
5) Sit to Stand
Do 5- 10 of these. Make sure to keep your trunk upright and avoid leaning too far forward for protection of the lower back. Also, to decrease stress on the knees, pay attention to keeping the knees behind the toes.
As always, if these exercises increase your pain at all, or if they don’t improve your symptoms after a few days, you will probably benefit from a 1-on-1 evaluation with a physical therapist. If you’re interested, you can hit the Request an Appointment button at the top of this page and we will get in touch with you!