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Exercising with hip or knee pain

If you're experiencing knee or hip pain, you're not alone. Nearly everyone will experience knee or hip pain at some point in their lives. When this kind of pain strikes, the best doctors are likely to recommend the least invasive treatment to alleviate pain and encourage healing. Many people experiencing pain are afraid to exercise or move in fear that it will make things worse. Instead, this avoidance of activity actually makes things worse. Joints begin to stiffen even faster as they aren’t being used and stretched. Muscles begin to weaken and atrophy because of the disuse. Once this happens, the injury begins to spread to nearby areas out of compensation. When hip and knee problems aren’t looked after, they often spread into back problems or ankle and foot problems.

Along with applying ice or heat to relieve pain and inflammation, exercise is one of the best things you can do for a sore or injured joint. If you like to exercise regularly but need to give your hip or knee a rest while an injury heals, there are some exercises you can do in the meantime. As always, it’s best to consult with your local health professional if you are unfamiliar with exercise. A physiotherapist or exercise physiologists are safe bets when it comes to hip and knee rehabilitation. If you’re going to get started on your own, you can combine these exercises to create a routine lasting 30 minutes or longer, 4 times per week:

1. floor exercises, including abdominal curls, crunches, push-ups, or leg lifts

2. exercises that target the upper body, including repeated lifting of hand weights in different directions

3. gentle yoga

4. swimming or water aerobics

5. routines involving an exercise ball, including stretches, abdominal curls, or leg lifts


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