Knee osteoarthritis: Practical advice

Knee: Practical advice

Here you will find some tips to help you in your everyday life. And more specifically some simple things that can relieve your pain and help you in your various daily activities.


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Household chores

Sweeping (dustpan and brush):


To avoid bending or squatting, favour a dustpan and a brush fitted with a long handle.

You can then sweep-up the dirt while respecting the well-being of your knee.


Window cleaning:


For cleaning windows, you can use a squeegee with a telescopic handle This will help you avoid straining to reach the top of the windows and thus putting too much stress on your knees.

A steam device can also be an effective solution.





We recommend using a cylinder vacuum cleaner rather than an upright vacuum cleaner as it is lighter and easier to handle. It will require less effort and thus put less strain on the joints.

Be careful, always support yourself with the less painful knee. If you suffer from both knees, remember to regularly change your supporting leg.


Carrying buckets:


Buckets are often heavy and therefore difficult to carry.

To avoid lifting it, slide a tray on wheels under the bucket using your foot to push it along. This will avoid putting pressure on your knees.

You can also find buckets equipped with wheels in the shops.

This system can also be used for plant pots.




Ironing is done standing. Hence, strain put on your knees for a long time.

For your comfort do not hesitate to place a small stool under one of your feet and alternate the supporting leg.


Mopping the floor:


To put an end to the repetitive kneeling that hurts your knees, you should choose a mop and mop bucket with a squeezer system. These accessories allow you to wring out without bending down.






Choosing suitable places for objects in cupboards can help to reduce your daily difficulties by avoiding painful movements of your knees. Thus, heavy items and those that you use frequently should not be stored either too high up or too low down.

Lastly, to reach the highest shelves, you can use a lightweight stepping stool (but be careful not to fall off). But if you do not feel comfortable with this, there are gripper devices that grab hold of any kind of object without any difficulty either from a high or low shelf. (Long handle equipped with a magnetised jaw at the end)


Personal Hygiene


If a standing position hurts you for taking your shower and prevents you from enjoying this moment of relaxation, you can place a small stool or folding seat and sit down to relieve your knees. There are also grab rails that can help to support you while standing or help you to get up.



Several precautions must be taken when using your bathtub. First of all you can equip it with a special handle to help you get in or a grab rail to help you straighten up. Installing a non-slip mat can also save you from slipping.


Wash mitts:

Using a sponge or brush equipped with a long handle will enable you to wash the various parts of your body without too much bending, and therefore avoid overtaxing your knees.


Making your bed


Choosing a bed:
People who have difficulty getting up should choose a high bed frame. If this is not sufficient, you can put bed raisers under your bed. (Sold in medical supplies shops).

Two tips can help you make your bed.
First of all, avoid placing your bed against the wall. You will not have to move it to make it. Lastly, choose a duvet rather than sheets as it requires less effort to make your bed and does not need tucking in.


Sitting down and standing up

So you can easily get out of seats, look for chairs with armrests and a straight back (Useful for getting up) You can also place bed raisers under the feet of your armchairs, to help you to sit down and stand up.

In addition, in the case of knee osteoarthritis, it is not recommended to stay too long with your knees bent at 90 degrees. So remember to stretch your legs out from time to time.


DIY tasks:

Carpenter belt:

It allows you to always have your tools handy and saves you from constantly bending down and getting up again which relieves your knees.



There are telescopic brushes that can help you reach higher or lower areas without having to bend down or stand on steps.


Unclogging the sink:

To reach the sink trap, it is best to lie flat on your back under your work surface. This prevents staying crouched too long and thus straining your knees. But remember beforehand to take your tools with you.



Choose long-handled garden tools (spade, rake etc.); the position and movement will be easier and your knees will be less stressed.


Taps, handles, keys, plugs and switches

Plug points:

If possible, place your plug points at eye level. This will save you from having to kneel down to plug in your equipment.


Desk work:


To safeguard your spine and also your knees, you should, when you spend a long time sitting at your desk, choose a swivel seat that is adjustable in height. So you can adjust the height to that of your work top and change position to relax your joints. If your seat has a back it will it will maintain your back. If you work on a stool, lean forward so that your elbows and forearms rest on your desk.


Lastly, you can place a footstool to rest your knees. Take a break regularly, accompanied by stretching exercises of your neck and shoulders and remember to stretch your legs to relieve your joints.


Getting dressed:

Sit down to put on your trousers or socks You will have better balance. If you have problems you can use a hosiery aid or a sock aid.

If you have trouble putting on your shoes you can use a long handled shoe horn which will enable you to avoid bending over too much. You can also equip your shoes with elastic shoelaces.

Your choice of shoes is important. Avoid wearing high narrow heels that impose a massive strain on your hips. Choose good quality shoes that can absorb shocks, or equip them with cushioned insoles.



Suitcases or travel bags:

When you carry luggage, avoid at all costs leaning to one side or the other. Balance yourself by carrying a bag or suitcase on either side.
Whenever possible use luggage trolleys or use wheeled luggage. But remember to switch arms so as not to strain your shoulder



Do not hesitate to take a cane when out and about. It can greatly relieve you and give you the opportunity to walk for longer.

However, you must choose your cane carefully. The height is important. The handle should reach halfway up your thigh. In addition, you should always place it on the opposite side to the pain.


Shopping bags:

As for luggage, it is better for your spine and your knees to balance the weight by taking two bags instead of one. If you can, replace your bag with shopping carts on wheels. But do not always pull it on the same side to save your shoulder. You can also choose a backpack on condition of not overloading it. Lastly, the simplest solution is home delivery. Many retailers now offer this service.