General Tips

Get educated

Learn as much as you can about the disease. Investigate patient education programs, arthritis self-management programs, and arthritis support groups.

Check out our useful links for help locating programs near you.

Protect your joints

Avoid excess stress on your joints.

Stay active

Regular physical activity is key. Consult with your health care provider before beginning any exercise program.

There are 3 types of exercise that are important for people with osteoarthritis of the knee:

  • Strengthening exercises to increase muscle strength and help protect your joints
  • Aerobic exercise to improve the health of your heart and circulation and to control your weight
  • Range-of-motion exercises to help reduce stiffness and develop proper joint flexibility and movement

Indulge Yourself

Reduce stress. A warm bath before bed can relieve muscle tension, ease aching joints, and help you get a good night's sleep.


Find a certified massage therapist and treat yourself. The benefits of massage may include decreased pain and increased circulation, energy, and flexibility. (And it feels great, too!)

Eat well

Eating well and controlling your weight can relieve stress on your knees. It can also lower your risk of developing other health problems.

Get plenty of sleep

Sleep can lessen pain and help you cope better with your osteoarthritis.

Tips to help improve your sleep include:

  • Getting enough exercise early in the day
  • Avoiding caffeine or alcohol at night
  • Keeping your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool

Stay positive

  • Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses
  • Make fitness and good nutrition part of your lifestyle
  • Learn ways to manage stress
  • Develop a support system of family, friends, and health care providers