Knee Osteoarthritis and Exercise

Knee Fat Pad Impingement Pain

Knee Osteoarthritis and Exercise


Exercise for Knee Osteoarthritis – what you need to know!

Exercise is one of the most important treatments for individuals with knee Osteoarthritis. But before we delve into the WHY it’s important to understand the basic makeup of the knee.

There are two main joints of the knee:

  1. The tibiofemoral joint – where the shin bone meets the femur
  2. The patellofemoral joint – where the kneecap meets the femur.

Supporting musculature:

  1. The quadriceps (made up of 4 muscles – vastus intermedius, rectus femoris, vastus lateralis and vastus medialis).
  2. The hamstrings (made up of 3 muscles – biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus).

Since the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis on the rise it’s important to understand what it responds to!

Because individuals with knee osteoarthritis often share the belief that exercise will accelerate their arthritis or increase their pain, they tend to believe rest is better. BUT this isn’t the case! Rest is counter intuitive, as those supporting muscles lose their strength and capacity to do their job. This reduction in strength and capacity reduces the amount of force the knee can tolerate, which can lead to increases in pain.

So if not rest then what?

Knee Muscular Issues and Imbalances Kelvin Grove

Exercise. The good news is osteoarthritis responds favourably to exercise, as it is one of the most effective ways to improve the function and symptoms of individuals with knee osteoarthritis. It does this through strengthening the muscles that support your knee and also helps shed any extra weight which may be putting more force through the knee joints.

It’s important that strengthening exercises be performed under the supervision of a trained physiotherapist. So as to ensure they can safely guide the progression of exercises and monitor any changes in symptoms. Pivotal Motion has a highly skilled physiotherapist team and is able to help you with this!


For more information about knee osteoarthritis and how to safely use exercise to treat it, come into Pivotal Motion and speak to a physiotherapist today about your knee physiotherapy! Call us on (07) 3352 5116 or make an appointment online.


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