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Archive for the ‘Stretching’ Category

Hip Flexor Stretch

Knee osteoarthritis leaves sufferers in pain and feeling immobile. The less you exercise and stretch, the tighter your muscles and ligaments become and the more pain and stiffness you experience. By stretching and lengthening these knee components the knee can move easier and with less pain.

A common stretch to loosen up is the hip flexor stretch. To perform this stretch kneel with one knee on the ground (you can use a towel for a cushion). Your other knee should be out in front of you at a right angle with the floor. Place your chin on your chest, keeping your back straight. Keep your pelvis square and do not allow your knee to pass in front of your toes.

Repeat this stretch for both legs holding the stretch for 30 seconds.



Senior-Stretching

Senior-Stretching

As we age our muscles get tighter.  As our muscles tighten it becomes more difficult to move our joints through their full range of motion.  As it becomes harder to move it becomes easier to sit still.  This pattern of immobility is a downward spiral that can have a negative impact on your quality of life.

Use it or lose it.  Stretching needs to be a regular part of your exercise program.  Flexibility exercises can help your muscles and joints move more easily and protect them from wear and tear.

Stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves if you want relief for knee osteoarthritis.  Stretches need to be smooth and fluid, never bounce.  If you feel pain you’ve gone too far – stay in a comfortable range.  It is also important to sustain and hold your stretch for 10 to 20 seconds.  Let the muscles and joints benefit from the activity.

Ask your doctor or physical therapist to design a stretching program that is right for you.



Psoas Stretch

Chair Stretch

This stretch is to help loosen your hip flexors.  It is easy and quick.  This stretch in conjunction with others to help keep your hamstrings and quadriceps can help ease the pain associated with your osteoarthritis of the knee.

Hip Flexor Chair Stretch:

1.  Find a sturdy chair – no wheels.

2.  Place one knee on the chair.  Keep the majority of your body weight on the leg you are standing on.

3.  Slowly move your hips forward – do not rotate – until you feel a gentle stretch.

4.  Hold the stretch for ten seconds.

5.  Stretch each side five times.



Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

A kneeling hip flexor stretch is an effective stretch for limbering up the muscles in front of your hips.  Tight hip flexors will cause undue tension on your knees.  The knee is a complicated joint and the surrounding musculature plays an important role on how the knee bends and functions.  Stretching these muscles will help your osteoarthritis of the knee.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch:

1.  Kneel on your right knee – use a towel as a cushion.

2.  Place your left foot forward, and bend your knee.

3.  Place your right hand on your right hip to keep your back straight.

4.  Lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch.

5.  Hold the stretch for ten seconds.

6.  Stretch each side five times.



Hip Flexor

Hip Flexor

The Hip Flexors are comprised of three muscles: the rectus femoris, psoas major, and the illiacus.  Hip flexors are responsible for flexing the hip and knee.  By keeping these muscles limber, you can help ease the pain of your knee OA.

Stretching, exercise, and weight loss will all help your knees feel better.  Stop taking the medications and avoid surgery.  Start thinking about conservative treatment options for your osteoarthritis of the knee.



Stretching the quadriceps is a great idea, but what if you can’t reach your ankle to pull your knee backwards?  Sometimes it’s okay to cheat.  Use an assistive device like a towel, exercise band, or even a bungee cord.

Assistive Device

Assistive Device

Stretching is a legitimate treatment option for your knee osteoarthritis.  It’s free, easy, and you can do it right now!  Consider conservative treatment options for your Knee OA.  This is one post in a series about stretching to make your knees feel better.



Stretching your quadriceps is free, and doesn’t require a prescription.  Along with your hamstrings and hip flexors, keeping these muscles limber will help ease the pain associated with you knee osteoarthritis.  Knee OA can be managed with conservative treatment options.

Prone Quadriceps Stretch

Prone Quadriceps Stretch

Prone Quadricep Stretch:

1.  Lie on your stomach.

2.  Bend your knee back and grab your ankle.

3.  Pull Until you feel a gentle stretch.

4.  Hold the stretch for ten seconds.

5.  Stretch each leg five times.



Side Lying Quadricep Stretch

Side Lying Quadricep Stretch

Stretching may be the answer if you are looking for a conservative treatment option to manage the pain of your  knee osteoarthritis.  Stretch, exercise, lose a little weight and you may not have to take as many medications.  You may even be able to avoid surgery.

This is one type of stretch for your quadriceps.  The Side Lying Quadricep Stretch:

1.  Lie on your side and support your head.

2.  Bend your top leg backward and grab your ankle.

3.  Pull until you feel a gentle stretch.

4.  Hold the stretch for ten seconds.

5.  Stretch each leg five times.



Four muscles in the front of your leg comprise the quadriceps.  This group of muscles is responsible for extending your leg and your knee.  These muscles are easy to stretch and will help ease the pain associated with your Knee OA.  This is one post in a series about stretching as a treatment option for your osteoarthritis of the knee.

Standing Quadricep Stretch

Standing Quadricep Stretch

Standing Quadricep Stretch:

1.  Stand and hold onto something sturdy for balance.

2.  Bend your knee backwards and grab your ankle.

3.  Pull your knee back until you feel a gentle stretch.

4.  Hold the stretch for ten seconds.

5.  Stretch both legs five times each.



Stretching will increase your flexibility.  If the muscles surrounding your knee are flexible it will help ease the pain associated with your osteoarthritis.  Keep your hamstrings limber and manage your knee OA.  This is one post in a series about stretching as a conservative treatment option.

Stand and Lean on a Step

Stand and Lean on a Step

Hamstring Stretch – Stand and Lean (this is my favorite hamstring stretch)

1.  Stand and straighten your leg.

2.  Place your heel on a step, rail, or bench.

3.  Hold onto a wall of bar for support.

4.  Slightly bend your other leg.

5.  Lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch.

6.  Hold the stretch for ten seconds.

7.  Switch legs.

8.  Stretch each leg five times.