Reducing Pain with Exercise

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Reducing Pain with Exercise

It may sound counterintuitive, but exercise can reduce knee pain.

Now that doesn’t mean that those of us with osteoarthritis should get out and sprint around the track, or start doing vigorous cross-fit workouts. However, it does mean that it’s important to make safe forms of exercise a part of your daily life, such as walking, swimming, water aerobics, yoga, pilates, moderate cycling, and strength training.

Studies like this one have shown that people who regularly participate in land-based exercises such as walking and strength training routines, rate their knee pain to be 10 to 15% less than people who do not exercise. Even more, those that exercised needed less pain medication, and in many cases, none at all.

Regular exercise strengthens the muscles, and in doing so, leads to better support of the joints. By strengthening the quads, hamstrings, and other muscles that surround the knee- the knee becomes more stable. It will also experience less impact, which as a result, reduces pain.

Even better, exercise triggers the release of feel-good- natural painkillers in our bodies, called endorphins. These neurotransmitters, which are also sometimes referred to as hormones, can decrease pain and trigger a positive feeling in the body.

If knee pain discourages a person from being active, it just leads to joint stiffness and muscle weakness, which in turn, creates even more pain. Therefore, by regularly moving the knee through exercise, the knee joint and surrounding muscles remain limber, with an increased range of motion and functionality.

When it comes to exercising with knee issues, it’s always best to consult with your doctor first. Different issues may have certain limitations when it comes to exercise. For example, cycling could be ok for some, but not for others. As well as certain types of weight lifting. By checking with your doctor or physical therapist, you can make sure that you aren’t doing anything to make your knee issues worse and exacerbate pain.

Lastly, knee pain isn’t something you just have to learn how to live with. There are solutions. Exercise can help, and in some cases surgery is necessary. However, in recent years knee pain is successfully being resolved using a minimally invasive procedure such as Genicular Artery Embolization.

So take action, and you’ll be walking comfortably in no time.

For more information on GAE or to schedule an appointment, call us at 301-622-5360 and check out our website today.

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