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How to stay active while managing knee or hip pain

People who are recovering from an injury or managing a chronic condition such as bursitis, osteoarthritis, or tendonitis may have the impulse to “take it easy” and cut back on physical activity to avoid pain.

But staying active and incorporating some kind of movement into your daily routine is essential. It’s not just good for your overall health – it actually helps manage and reduce your pain. Even if you’re considering knee or hip replacement, getting and staying strong prior to surgery means a faster and safer recovery.

You’ll need to select exercises that protect your hip and knee, prevent additional problems, and promote strength and flexibility that will reduce your pain.


  • Choose low impact exercise: walking on level ground, swimming, or cycling.

  • Try strength training with low or moderate weights. Strong muscles protect joints and build stamina.

  • Lose weight if you can. Research shows that losing just five or ten pounds may reduce joint pain significantly.

  • Consider working with a licensed physical therapist who can recommend changes to your routine that prevent pain from getting worse, and teach you stretches and strengthening exercises that precisely target your hip or knee issues.


  • Follow fitness routines or do exercises that cause you pain.

  • Do squats, lunges, or deadlifts. These common gym activities put enormous stress on your joints.

  • Jog or do anything that subjects your joints to force.

  • Stay on the couch. It may be tempting to give up exercise entirely, but the right kinds of physical activity can help you reduce pain and feel more like yourself.

We can help you find nearby, in-network physical therapists to get an exercise plan that’s right for you.

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