Lifestyle changes you can make

A healthy body weight will reduce the load on your knees and help you be more comfortable. Even people who are slightly overweight (BMI > 25) benefit from weight reduction.2,3Physical activity is also helpful.8,9 For instance 2 to 3 hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity like a brisk walk and leg strengthening exercises two or more days a week will relieve pain.

1. The leg raise.You can do this exercise while sitting in bed or on the couch. Put a roll or pillow under your knee so that it is slightly bent. Now stretch your knee until your leg is completely straight. Keep this leg straight for 3 to 5 seconds and then slowly lower your leg.
Number of repetitions: 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions. Then switch to the other leg.


2. Raise your leg while lying down.Lie flat on your back on the floor (or bed) with your arms at your sides, toes up. Keeping your leg straight, tighten your leg muscles and slowly lift it several inches. Tighten your stomach muscles to push your lower back down. Hold and count to five, then lower the leg as slowly as possible.
Number of repetitions: 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions. Then switch to the other leg.


3. Raise your leg sideways.Lie down on your side and raise the leg that is on top. Keep your knee stretched and pull your toes towards you while doing so.
Number of repetitions: 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions. Then switch to the other leg.


4. Getting up from a chair.
Number of repetitions: 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions.


5. Climbing stairs or use a little bench to step on. Do this exercise on the lower steps of your staircase and hold on to the banister. Step on and off the stair with your sore leg first. Make sure you use the strength from your upper leg, calf muscle and buttock muscles. Try not to use your arm or other leg.
Number of repetitions: 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Then switch to the other leg.


6. Hold your body in the bridge position. GLie down on your back and bent your knees. Lift your pelvis and keep it up for 5-10 seconds. Then slowly lower your pelvis again.
To make the exercise more challenging you can:
- Put your hands crossed on your chest while keeping this position;
- Raise the feet one by one while keeping this position;
- Stretch one leg while keeping this position.


On a bad day, you could take acetaminophen or an aspirin-type medication. Something like ibuprofen. You can also ice the knee or wear a knee support.10

If you are feeling protective, unsure, or even a bit down about the arthritis, you may feel worse and do less. There are ways to work on your mood and mindset that will make you more comfortable and active.11

• The pain will be relieved and function of the knee will improve.8,9,12
• Focusing on healthier habits and greater resiliency will help you be healthier overall.
• Developing healthy habits has almost no risks.

• Developing healthy habits is not easy.

People with knee arthritis that engage in an exercise program and focus on healthier habits will have less pain and be able to do more.8,9,12 People who learn and practice ways to adapt to arthritis experience less pain.11

Over-the-counter pain relievers can reduce pain for several hours.13

Potential for problems:

Fewer than 2 of 1000 patients using ibuprofen have a serious stomach bleed. Risk increases with age and the duration of use.14

Population: 0.5%