Exercises for Hip, Knee, and Back Pain
Exercise is key to the proper functioning of muscles, bones, tendons, and joints. You may have heard the phrase “motion is lotion” in physical therapy. This is very true. Getting up and being active lubricates the joints, allowing them to function better and work harder for you.
However, chronic pain can keep us sidelined for days, weeks, or months. Even once the pain has subsided or been treated, patients may treat their body too gently with the worry that the pain will return, and they will require additional intervention. However, avoiding exercise only leads to more pain and dysfunction now and in the future.
What Exercises Can I Perform?
As orthopedic surgeons, we never suggest high-impact activities for patients experiencing joint pain. But how do we differentiate high impact versus low impact? After all, there are so many variations of every exercise.
Walking. It sounds innocuous enough but walking on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt can hasten the degradation of your joints. Instead, try walking on the beach or in a grassy park or natural area. You will get the same strenuous activity as if you stepped on concrete but with far less impact on the joints.
Biking is an all-around great low-impact exercise as well. Whether you use a stationary bike like a Peloton or a bike on the road, the motion is relatively easy on the joints and still offers a potentially excellent workout. Of course, be careful where and how you bike. We don’t want to see you in the OR because of an accident!
Swimming is a fantastic exercise for the body and has minimal impact on the joints. Your buoyancy in the water helps minimize stress on the joints while offering a full-body workout, the intensity of which you can control easily. It is important to remember that you can still get injured swimming. Poor form can strain muscles and joints. Repetition of these unnatural movements can lead to injury. Therefore, be sure to perfect your form before strenuous swimming.
Some patients look so forward to their new and improved abilities that they overdo it right out the gates. This is a common reason for returning to our office with a second injury or aggravation of the primary injury. Remember to take your time and slowly work up to the exercise level you want to reach.
Of course, we are here to help with any orthopedic concerns you may have, so feel free to contact us and schedule a consultation with one of our highly experienced orthopedic surgeons.