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Five exercises for degenerative joint disease

Before recommending a patient to undergo degenerative joint disease surgery, a physician will likely try a course of conservative treatment aimed at relieving the pain and symptoms of this condition.

Among the many conservative treatment options for degenerative joint disease is exercise. Although overexertion may cause a patient’s degenerative joint disease to worsen, low-impact exercise can help to improve circulation and flexibility, and may relieve some of the painful symptoms of degenerative joint disease. Be sure to always consult with your physician before beginning any new exercises to ensure you are not doing anything that could potentially worsen your condition.

Exercises for degenerative joint disease

Here are five exercises physicians commonly recommend to combat the effects of degenerative joint disease:

  1. Knee to chest — Begin by lying on your back with both knees bent. Slowly bring one knee toward your chest, feeling a slight stretch in your lower spine and hip. Lower that leg back to the starting position and repeat on the other leg. This exercise should be done 10 times on each leg and can be repeated daily.
  2. Abdominal stretching — Lie on your back with your knees bent. Pull your belly button toward your spine and hold the position for 10 seconds, keeping your abdominal muscles tight. Be sure not to hold your breath while completing this exercise. This exercise should be done in three sets of 10 repetitions, and can be repeated daily.
  3. Clamshell exercise — Begin by lying on your side with both knees bent. Tighten your lower abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button down toward your spine. While maintaining even breaths and keeping your bottom leg on the ground, slowly lift up your top leg, as if you were opening like a clamshell. Lower your leg back to the starting position. This exercise should be done 10 times on each leg and can be repeated daily.
  4. Hamstring stretch — Lie on your back, one leg elevated, with an exercise band around your raised foot. Using the band for support, continue to lift your leg until you feel a slight stretch in your hamstring. Hold for as long as you can, or up to 30 seconds, and then lower your leg back down. This exercise should be done three times on each leg and can be repeated daily.
  5. Gluteus strengthening — Begin by lying on your stomach with a pillow under your hips for support. Slowly lift one leg into the air, squeezing your gluteus muscles. Slowly lower your leg. This exercise should be done 10 times on each leg and can be repeated daily.

While doing these exercises, keep in mind some slight discomfort is normal. However, if you experience sudden, severe pain, stop exercising immediately and consult your physician.

Degenerative joint disease surgery

If you complete several months of exercise and other conservative treatment but have not found sufficient relief from your symptoms, your physician may recommend degenerative joint disease surgery to provide lasting relief. Among the many surgical options available to you are the minimally invasive, outpatient procedures performed at USA Spine Care. Our surgeries use advanced techniques that spread the muscles surrounding the spine with less disruption, which results in a shorter recovery time^ compared to traditional open spine surgery.

Contact USA Spine Care today for more information or to receive a no-cost review* of your MRI to determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures.

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