Good workouts for bad knees

Q: I’m a young woman who’s had two knee surgeries in the past three years. I’ve gained weight with each surgery that I now can’t seem to work off. I still have pain in my knee and my exercise is limited. I’ve given up on doctors. What can I do for exercise?

A: Most importantly, you don’t want to make your knee worse. That’s why it’s important to work with a doctor or physical therapist to determine what activities would be best for you. I know it can be frustrating when doctors can’t seem to fix what’s wrong. I’m going through a similar situation with my foot. Although it’s only been about six months, and I haven’t had surgery, the pain is putting a real crimp in my exercise routine. I’m continuing to look for a doctor who can help me because I don’t want more problems in the future.

If you haven’t seen a physical therapist, ask your doctor for a referral. A physical therapist will carefully guide you through exercises to strengthen muscles around the knee and increase your range of motion, which should help alleviate some of the pain.

In the meantime, listen to your body. If an activity aggravates the pain, ease up a bit. If it still continues, find another activity. Swimming and water walking tend to be easy on your joints so they may be good choices. I’ve also come across two exercise videos,”Chairdancing” and “Sit and Be Fit: All Sitting Exercise,” that you can do while sitting.

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