3 Stretches for Osteoarthritis Joint Pain

| September 11, 2015 | Reply

Osteoarthritis is a painful and degenerative joint disorder that affects about 27 million adults in the United States. While osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, more than 50% of people with the disease have it in their knees.

Exercise is probably the last thing on your mind when your joints already hurt but building up muscle around your joints can slow progression of the disease and stretching can improve your range of motion and ease discomfort.

The following exercises can help you maintain your mobility and ease joint pain. The benefits of each for osteoarthritis have been shown in numerous studies, although you may want to discuss any exercise regimen with your doctor before you begin.

Standing Calf Stretch1. Standing Calf Stretch

Start by facing a wall with your left leg in front of you and your right leg behind you. Put your hands on the wall and slowly bend your left leg while leaning into the wall, pressing your heel to the floor. When you feel the stretch in your calf, hold the position for 30 seconds then relax. Repeat sides.

According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, people with knee OA who performed standing calf stretches regularly had improved joint function and less pain and stiffness.

Quadriceps Stretch2. Quadriceps Stretch

Stand with your feet hip-width apart then bend your left knee while holding the top of your left foot with your hand. You can place your right hand flat against a wall for support. Now, bring your left heel as close as you can to your butt. Hold the position for 30 seconds then relax and repeat on the other side.

A 2000 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that quadricep stretches improve the function of the knee and reduce stiffness and pain in knee OA patients.

Hamstring Stretch3. Hamstring Stretch

Start by lying down on a comfortable mat or floor with your knees bent. Loop a strap around your left foot and, while holding the strap, extend and lift your left leg into a 45-degree angle. When you feel the stretch behind your knee and thigh, hold the position for 30 seconds before relaxing and repeating for the other side.

A study published in 2010 in Physiotherapy found that stretching your hamstrings can increase your knees’ range of motion if you suffer from knee OA.

While stretching is important to improve joint function and relieve pain, your doctor may also recommend other treatment options, including anti-inflammatories, weight loss, surgery, or physical therapy. You may want to ask your doctor about complementary treatments you can try along with stretching. PRP injections, for example, are a non-invasive treatment option that has been shown to improve function and pain in 73% of OA patients while delaying the progression of the disease. PRP therapy can be used alongside stretching to ease your symptoms and potentially slow the disease in its tracks.

Stretchify.com Notice: For a detailed list of Osteoarthritis stretches we’ve gathered please click here.

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