exercise advice

Any advice on exercise I can do with osteoarthritis in my knees? Physio discharged me because I wasn't progressing due to lack of effective pain management. I'm in a vicious circle of needing to lose weight to ease the pain in my knees but not being able to exercise because of the pain in my knees. I can't go swimming because I have psoriasis and there are no chlorine free pools where I live.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


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18 Replies

  • Losing weight is more to do with what you eat than exercise, look into changing your eating habits.

  • I already follow the SW plan and have lost 1 1/2 stone but the pain in my knees isn't easing at all.

  • Can you do upper body exercises maybe?

    What is the SW plan?

  • slimming world

  • ok, keep the diet going then if you cant exercise. :)

  • Hi and welcome, p_cee :)

    Maybe you could start with this?


    Take a look at the Pinned posts section to the right of your screen (bottom if you're using a mobile), read the Welcome Newbie thread, then move through to the challenges, where we hope you'll find at least one that will appeal to you :)

    Move down to the Topics, to find a variety of threads, collated into specific topics for ease of access and we ask that you also 'file' your own threads, so that others won't miss your important news :)

    Have a look at the 12 week plan, as a lot of people have been successful with it. Don't forget to take your starting measurements and a 'before' picture, as they can be very motivating on days that the scales refuse to co-operate :)

    We run daily weigh-in's and you'd be very welcome to join us. The threads can always be found in the Events section, to the right of the home page, bottom on a mobile.

    We've found that to get the best out of this community, we need to be active on the forum, as it's where we exchange information, get motivation and inspiration and make friends. We hope that you'll join us here, regularly, too :)

    It's only left for me to wish you well on your journey :)

  • Chlorine in pools does not have any effect whatsoever on psoriasis. Having had many different areas of plagues in various places over the years, I can assure you that the only off-put to swimming is other peoples reaction to my skin condition. I just say "don't worry, it's only psoriasis - you can't catch it!" Having osteoarthritis also in spine and joints, I find swimming is the best exercise to do. So do not be put off - get down to the pool and enjoy yourself.

  • I can assure you that chlorine in pools does have an effect on my psoriasis leaving me with bright red, tight, cracked and painful lesions on my patches. I am speaking from experience not from being worried what people will say about my skin.

  • I had terrible pain in both my knees following cancer treatment. I was referred to physio. My exercises were to strengthen my quads. Basically sit on floor and bend feet at right angle. Then lift leg one at a time just a few inches. This will strengthen your quads which support your knees. Worked for me x

  • 100% agree re swimming, swimming is ace for troublesome joints. Cycling is also often well regarded in osteoarthritis because it's non-impact.

    On the other side of things have you seen your GP about pain relief? There's nothing wrong with being on regular appropriate and effective pain relief. Like you said, the pain is stopping you from exercising, pain relief is a key route out of the vicious circle. Two pillars of pain relief, physio and pain relief, one really won't take you far without the other. I'd recommend seeing your GP, and if they're soft on pain relief, see another 😉

  • The pain relief I was given was ineffective. The next step up was tramadol but I work full-time so can't take regular doses.

  • That is frustrating, I understand. Forgive me for asking, are you certain you and your doctor have explored all avenues of pain relief, including medications such a gabapentin, or pregabalin? Maybe seeing the pain clinic? I only ask because often I find people have been given the impression that their options are more limited than they necessarily are.

    I also think the gym ball mentioned by pot58 is a good idea, and that reminded me to mention weights. Sure we all tend to regard cardiovascular exercise as the big thing and it is important, but increasing your muscle mass even a bit will increase your calorie burning potential.

  • I am in a similar situation to p_cee and all my Dr has offered are codrydamol. My yoga instructor doesn't like me to take pain killers before a class as she says pain is warning that there is a problem. Without pain killers I am unable to walk to the gym for the yoga session, so catch 22.

  • The situation that you are in must feel like a real bind. To be frank I'm not sure about the yoga instructors advice. They are right that pain is an important signal to prevent injury, but obviously that can't apply when we're already swamped with pain, so what good is that advice?

    I'm a GP. I have to accept that this can mean that I'm biased toward a medical model of thinking, but I like to think that I personally am not because I believe and find there are lots of limitations to western medicine that other philosophies can help surpass.

    The key is that we should be trying to gently establish a blanket of regular analgesia to cover that blanket of continuous background pain. Once that's gradually established your body should and will still send you signals of overdoing it, those spikes of pain should come through. We might need to take more care and go real slow, but we are probably are doing that anyway. And what's the alternative? Be left in the catch 22? That's not fair when there are more resources.

    I often come across colleagues that are bit conservative in their pain management when you need them to perhaps be a bit more assertive. If your GP doesn't want to go any further with your pain management there is nothing wrong with asking to be referred to a pain clinic.

  • Thank you for your thoughtful reply I will certainly take your advice. I need to keep mobile as I am the main carer for my husband.

  • You're most welcome! Good luck

  • Hi P_c,

    Sorry that you are not receiving the help you need..as another post said go back to your doctor,.Have you tried a gym ball? They are very cheap and I have used one. There are lots of exercises on you tube and websites. Just by sitting on one for a period of time develops your core. Once you are balancing well you can add in weights for the upper body( tins of food if nothing else). You can 'bounce' and by controlling this you strengthen muscles. There re then sit-ups etc that can be done once you are better able to cope.

  • I realise it is a bit late to be replying to your post. I had a hissy fit last week and was about to give up but thanks to the good people on this forum I am back on track.

    I just wanted to say I am in that vicious circle also, osteoarthritis in both hips and both knees. I have not seen a physio yet but have been going to a womens only gym where there are electric exercise machines where you get gentle exercise which helps to keep the joints supple. I also do seated aerobics. Don't laugh, it's more energetic than you may think. Recently I have been trying yoga which helped with flexibility to start with but now we are being pushed harder it has caused me a considerable amount of pain, especially in my hip. So unless the tutor can modify the moves for me I will not continue with that. I keep reading posts on here where activity is advised to burn calories. However I luckier than many people of my age(75)

    I realise this is a bit all about me and not very helpful to you. I just felt that we could perhaps be buddies on the road?

    Best wishes and I hope that you find some relief soon.

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