28 May How to do Physiotherapy Exercises with Knee Arthritis – Patient Handout
Exercise prescription is an essential part of a physiotherapy treatment plan but unfortunately this resource if often administered incorrectly or not given enough attention.
I am going to highlight some common mistakes that are made with exercises that can lead to poor recovery. As a physio for a decade I have encountered these problems far too often (I even did them myself a few times when I first started).
Remembering from memory.
When people are in pain and concerned about their health or in hospital, they are worrying about a million things. We can “go through” the exercises in person but a written reminder is always useful.
Too many exercises.
Personally, I look at a 3-page exercise programme with 12 different exercises and I don’t feel like doing it. So I don’t expect my patients to either. I generally keep to less than seven exercises, on average I will give out 4 per patient and progress as needed.
Unclear number of repetitions.
Many times patients have said to me, “I didn’t know how many to do and I didn’t want to make it worse” so they do too few or none. Or the opposite, some people do as many as they can because it wasn’t specified to them and up in discomfort from overuse.
Probability of error.
I generally find that with standing exercises more can “go wrong” (alignment, balance and too much to think about) than seated exercises for arthritis treatment. And realistically lots of people can have difficulty to perform exercises lying down. That’s why this set of exercises is seated and standing with support.
With that in mind I have made a free patient handout for knee strengthening in osteoarthritis. Here are six of my favourite easy physio exercises:
I have also created a version of knee pain strengthening exercises in Spanish that can be downloaded and printed:
These are my top exercises that I believe (and have seen) that done well, give great results.