What are some options for exercise that won’t make my knee pain worse?

Share This: 

Elliptical Workout for someone with bad kneesJill Murphy, DPT, LAT, CSCS

Question: I’d really like to start an exercise program, but I have bad knees. What are some options for exercise that won’t make my knee pain worse?

Answer: It is always best to treat any injuries prior to starting a new exercise program, because nothing dampens the excitement of working on new fitness goals like pain limiting your new level of activity. Consulting a physician for clearance to begin an exercise program is a good first step if you haven’t been on the work-out wagon for quite a while.

For individuals with knee arthritis, some of the best forms of exercise that are least jarring to the knees are water aerobics, walking in chest deep water, swimming, biking, elliptical, Nu-Step, and walking. If some or all of these activities are resulting in knee pain that continues or is worsening, it may be time to consult a physical therapist for some specific exercises that can help reduce knee stiffness and improve lower extremity strength to reduce the forces that your knees must absorb with each step.

If you have a question you would like a physical therapist to address, submit your question here.