Strength & Physical Training

There are few more beneficial therapies for osteoarthritis (OA) than strength and physical training. Exercise brings knee health and stability, aids body weight control and contributes to social and psychological health. It also reduces stress, fatigue and tiredness.

The strengthening of the quadriceps and other lower-limb muscle groups has been shown to be highly effective in relieving knee OA symptoms. One significant review of eight studies showed that strength training programs reduced participants’ pain by 35% and increased their knee strength and function by 33% compared to those that did not participate. Exercise is also proven to assist in the prevention of other chronic disease and aid social and psychological health.

However, it is important that exercise is tailored to your physical condition, especially if you have not been exercising much. A well-designed program from an exercise physiologist and/or physiotherapist can greatly assist. They will make sure your program is enjoyable, fits your schedule and results in pain reduction and functional improvement of your knee.

Very often, patients with knee OA will report that they ‘tried physiotherapy and it didn’t work’. Providing the exercises and stretches prescribed were actually followed by the patient, the most common reason for it not working is that the exercises prescribed were not appropriate for a patient’s individual physiology or situation, or they were not performed correctly.

Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiologist’s use exercise and physical activity for treatment and rehabilitation. For the knee OA sufferer, they will design exercise plans that achieve strengthening and functional goals, as well as a level of general fitness.


There is strong evidence that a customised musculoskeletal program to strengthen muscle-groups and increase the knee’s range of motion is highly effective for knee OA pain management and improvement of physical function in the short and long term.

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