A qualified physiotherapist can asses your joint and then design a programme whch takes into account your general medical condition as well as the specific problem with your knee joint. A typical exercise programme will involve a warm up, stretches, strengthening programme and some aerobic exercise. Unfortunately most of the benefits of exercise are lost 6 months after the exercise is stopped. It is best to exercise every day but if time is a problem then 3 times a week is acceptable for aerobic and strengthening exercises.
- A warm-up can be done when you wake up every day. This would be 5 minutes of gentle range-of-movement exercises.
- Flexibility exercises are ideally performed daily for 10 minutes. This is usually a hamstring stretch for the knee.
- Strengthening exercises —
- These are reduced if the knee is inflamed from active arthritis and increased if the knee feels good.
- Isometric exercises (static muscle contraction that does not move a joint or alter muscle length) – twice daily during acute inflammatory periods but otherwise for 10 minutes three times a week.
- Isotonic exercises (resistance training exercises, often with weights), three days per week for 10 minutes.
- Endurance/fitness exercises — such as walking, swimming, dancing, aquarobics, cycling, 3–4 times per week for 20–30 minutes.
- The intensity, duration, and frequency of exercise should be specified and graded to allow for progression.