Pain

Exercising with a flare-up of knee arthritis

Stay active by warming up, adjusting your exercise routine, and icing your knee after a workout.

By , Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

cropped photo showing from the neck down a woman holding an ice pack on her knee

You might know it well by now: the painful bloom of swelling and stiffness that signals a flare-up of knee osteoarthritis. When it strikes, and you muddle through the discomfort, you go easy on your knee and accept the idea that you’ll have to brace for limited activities until the flare settles down.

While that may be true for some activities, such as kneeling or squatting, it doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising to protect your knee. In fact, exercising is an important way to keep the joint flexible. You’ll just have to go about exercising a little differently while your knee arthritis is acting up.

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About the Author

photo of Heidi Godman

Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

Heidi Godman is the executive editor of the Harvard Health Letter. Before coming to the Health Letter, she was an award-winning television news anchor and medical reporter for 25 years. Heidi was named a journalism fellow … See Full Bio
View all posts by Heidi Godman

About the Reviewer

photo of Anthony L. Komaroff, MD

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter

Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff is the Steven P. Simcox/Patrick A. Clifford/James H. Higby Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and editor in chief of the Harvard … See Full Bio
View all posts by Anthony L. Komaroff, MD

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No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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