If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, do strength training, especially for your quadriceps, the muscles on the front of the thighs, which help extend the lower leg and stabilize the knee cap.
A new analysis of 15 studies, involving more than 8,000 people with (or at risk for) knee osteoarthritis, found that weak quadriceps were associated with worse symptoms and increased functional decline over two- to eight-year periods, compared to those with stronger muscles. This was especially true in women.
This goes along with previous research showing that strength training of the legs, particularly the quadriceps, can help reduce pain and improve mobility in people with knee arthritis. People with knee arthritis typically have weak quadriceps, partly because pain discourages them from exercising. But research suggests that weak muscles around the knees may actually contribute to arthritis. The study appeared in Arthritis Care & Research.
Also see Tai Chi Soothes Knee Arthritis.