Physical therapy may be recommended as a component of your treatment plan, especially if you suffer from osteoarthritis. Because osteoarthritis is thought of as a “wear and tear” type of disease, it may seem counterintuitive to recommend an exercise regimen as part of arthritis treatment. However, research has shown that exercise can stimulate your body’s own production of hyaluronic acid (Engstrom-Laurent 1987), a component of healthy joint fluid which is responsible for joint lubrication. A tailored exercise regimen as directed by a therapist can help reduce your pain and maintain the health of your joints by keeping them moving in the proper ways.
Below is a digital version of a booklet we give to our knee patients. Please note that these home exercises are not meant to replace proper physical therapy under the direction of a trained specialist. In all of these exercises, please let pain be your guide. If it hurts, stop immediately. There are many variations of these exercises with which a physical therapist can assist you. And don’t overdo it — you may worsen your symptoms or condition.