Physiotherapy Exercises info wanted

May 1, 2010 at 5:50 pm

My legs and feet are getting worse, although I am using them as much as before. I suggested PT to my doc, but got no answer. The cramps continue in my legs and feet, and my ligaments are shorter than before. Swelling is worse in my calves, and my knees are continually puffy and painful.
I want to know what kind of exercises to do to help myself regain some flexibility again. The pain is much worse than before, really hard to take.

I’ve been doing exercises on my back while lying down in bed, just trying to stretch out the legs and feet till the tension eases in the ligaments. The knees are the worst, so I grasp behind the knee and try to hold position until the ligaments stretch out. This exercising is easing the pain somewhat, but it is necessary to do this several times a day to keep the stiffness down. Right foot still drags when walking, worse after 10 minutes. I tried leg lifts and knee bends while lying down, but it made my lower back much worse.

What exercises are the rest of you doing? I know that the arthritis support groups have range-of-motion exercises which help them.
Also, how do I control the swelling in my knees and legs? Is there any kind of topical cream that would help? My knees are very hot to the touch, so I don’t think A535, or Tiger Balm would help.