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Posts Tagged ‘knee osteoarthritis’

Joint Supplement

September 26, 2012

 

There are several important factors to consider when choosing a joint supplement:

1.  Look closely at products that encourage “the same dose for everyone” approach.  Bodies absorb nutrients differently depending on age, weight, and how bad the arthritis is.

2.  The quality of ingredients is more important than the quantity.

3.  Joint supplements usually take weeks to start working not days – so be patient and consistent.

4.  Be sure the supplement contains what your joints need.

5.  Is the supplement a pain reliever or is formulated to help your cartilage defend itself against knee osteoarthritis?

6.  Where is the supplement manufactured?  The supplement you take needs to be manufactured as if it were a pharmaceutical, in an FDA registered lab.  If this information isn’t readily available on the supplement you are looking at then it probably is mixed together in an unregistered site.

7.  Read the label.  Know what you are taking.

 

 



OA and Obesity

September 23, 2012

Obese individuals apply much more weight and stress to their knees.

Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of cartilage, leading to increased friction and decreased shock absorption in joint spaces.  It is unsurprising that osteoarthritis of the knee is often present in overweight or obese individuals, since they apply more stress to their  knees.  In fact, a recent article in the Huffington Post reports that just 10 pounds of excess body weight can produce 30-60 pounds of extra force on the knee.  This means that obesity can have an exaggerated effect on joints supporting body weight.

Knee osteoarthritis is particularly troublesome in obese individuals because the pain it causes can prevent them from exercising to return to a healthy body weight.  Osteoarthritis and obesity have a cyclical relationship, which means that they make each other worse in a descending spiral.  While exercise can still help people with osteoarthritis and obesity, it is most helpful before the symptoms are severe.  Recent work at the Johns Hopkins arthritis center suggests that the risk of developing osteoarthritis may be reduced by 50% for every 11 pounds lost.

The connection between worsening obesity and osteoarthritis cannot be overstated, but it can be avoided.  By committing to weight loss and healthy exercise, individuals at risk for developing osteoarthritis can improve their health in the long run.

 



Knee Structure

August 14, 2012

Knee bones

When understanding knee osteoarthritis it is important to understand the overall bone structure. The knee is comprised of four major bones. Understanding how your body works, you can better understand ways to reduce knee pain and increase your exercise and stretching routines.

Patella: The patella is your kneecap, a flat triangular bone that moves as the leg moves. The patella is located on the front of the knee, protecting the knee joint.

Tibia: Commonly referred to as the shin bone, this bone is used to connect the knee and ankle. The tibia is the second largest bone in the body and does the majority of weight bearing during movement.

Femur: Also know as the thigh bone. The femur is the longest bone in the human body. This bone runs from your knee to your hip joint, connecting your leg to torso.

Fibula: The fibula can also be called the calf bone. The fibula connects your knee and ankle and is located on the outside of your body alongside the tibia.



Tai Chi

August 8, 2012

Tai Chi

Considered by most experts as one of the best low impact workouts in the world, Tai Chi has been an eastern phenomenon for thousands of years. Tai Chi exercises provide significant improvement in balance, strength, flexibility, along with reducing pain associated with knee osteoarthritis.

Tai Chi involves fluid movements and is based on the inner balance of chi “energy” within the participant. Movements and breathing techniques have roots in martial arts but have evolved into a form of exercise and relaxation.

The combination of controlled movements and stretching allows muscles and joints to be strengthened and stretched. Concentrating on these basic techniques allow this ancient art form to be extremely beneficial. Tai Chi reduces pain and inflammation in arthritic knees and joints.



Sleep/Recovery

August 2, 2012

Getting enough sleep is important.

Knee osteoarthritis can be very painful and cause the knee joint to swell and become inflamed. Proper rest and relaxation is crucial to maintaining mobility and reducing pain caused by knee osteoarthritis. Sleep allows the body to recover and regenerate in order to reduce inflammation and heal the joints. A simple exercise routine combined with proper rest and recovery can be helpful in improving your overall knee health.

By maintaining a proper sleep schedule you can help your body recover faster and reduce overall pain and stiffness. You know your body better than anyone and if you feel sore or tired you might be in need of some recovery time in order to prevent injuries. We’re in the dog days of summer summer so make sure you have enough recovery time so you can enjoy the weather without knee pain.



Exercise Goals

July 30, 2012

Share your exercise goals.

More than 10 million Americans suffer from knee osteoarthritis. Knee pain can cause a lack of mobility resulting in depression, weight gain, feelings of helplessness and difficulty participating in daily activities. By setting goals like increasing your daily or weekly exercise time, or add stretching, you can radically improve your quality of life. Goals can be tailored for each individual and provide a basis for achieving and monitoring your progress.

Knowing your body and its limits is also very important. You know your body better than anyone. It is much better to rest and take it easy than to push yourself and risk further injuries. Allowing your body to adequately recover allows you to increase the duration and intensity of your exercise routines.  Set exercise goals and keep a close eye on your body in order to safely improve knee function.



Exercise Bike

July 18, 2012

Exercise Bike

Exercise is critical in keeping joints limber and keeping your body in shape. A stationary bike is an effective low impact exercise for individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Since there is no repeated contact with the ground, little pressure is exerted on the knees. Riding a stationary bike mimics walking motion in the knees and is very easy on the joints.

A stationary bike is a great way to shed some pounds without putting unnecessary stress on your knees. Cycling is commonly used as a rehabilitation exercise and provides a controlled movement through a range of motion that is needed for most daily activities. Spending 30 minutes on an exercise bike 3-4 days a week can dramatically improve overall knee function.



Standing Heel Raises

Doctors recommend moderate physical activity and weight loss to help manage knee osteoarthritis. Standing heel raises improve flexibility, decrease joint stiffness and improve range of motion. They also minimize muscle soreness after workouts and reduce calf injuries.

A standing heel raise is performed by standing straight and tall, legs fully extended, facing a stable railing. Use the railing for support and stability, lift both heels off the floor. Tighten your quadriceps while not locking out your knees. Remain on your tiptoes for one second, then lower your heels back down slowly. Repeat 15 times.



Step ups

July 6, 2012

Step ups

Knee osteoarthritis can cause intense pain and make exercise seem impossible. However, exercise can be one of the most effective means of lubricating the joint and increasing overall mobility. A simple exercise that can loosen up your knees and improve balance immensely is a step up. A step up can be completed using stairs, a raised platform, or a curb.

To execute a step up face a stable step with both feet on the ground. Step up with your right foot. Follow with your left foot. Stand tall on top of the step and with both feet flat. Step back down starting with your left foot, then right. This is a highly effective exercise because it simulates everyday movements and strengthens important muscle groups.

 



Are you having trouble getting up and exercising?  It’s easier with friends.  Check at your local recreation center, church, gym, or senior center for exercise groups.  If you don’t find any information, start a group yourself.  You may be surprised at the response.  Exercise is really important for arthritic knees.  And people who exercise with others are more likely to keep up with their exercise programs.

So get up, be social, and get those knees moving.  Knee joints need to bend to stay lubricated.  Exercise can be the best medicine for knee osteoarthritis.