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Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

A squat produces high forces on the knee when it is bent.  This puts a lot of friction on the knee.

Osteoarthritis usually develops as the result of mechanical stress.  This means that while some people are diagnosed with osteoarthritis, everyone is susceptible to it.  While certain people are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, certain activities have been shown to increase the risk.  Specifically, exercises involving large or repetitive forces on the knee.  If done appropriately, exercise can be helpful for osteoarthritis.  Unfortunately, excessive exercise can be harmful.

Exercises like squatting and running can hurt your cartilage.  Each squat or jarring landing can cause micro-trauma, leading to inflammation.  Inflammation leads to osteoarthritis of the knee.  Squats are particularly dangerous for individuals with osteoarthritis because of the significant forces placed on the knee while it is bent.  This pressure can tear your cartilage.

A neoprene knee sleeve can be helpful for individuals with knee osteoarthritis.  It can support the knee and restrict motion at the most extreme angles.  This reduces shear forces on the cartilage.  Neoprene knee sleeves can also support the knee while running.  This reduces the impact on the cartilage from each step, minimizing the micro-trauma and bringing down the swelling and inflammation in the knee.

Standing calf stretch

By performing calf stretches regularly it is possible to improve blood flow and increase muscular balance around a joint. Calf stretches allow your knee joint to move through a full range of motion thereby reducing pain. By adding calf stretches to your workout or stretching routine you can greatly improve overall knee health.

A simple stretch which can be performed in the comfort of your own home, is a standing wall stretch.

Place your right foot forward, while leaving your heel on the ground. Lean forward while using your hands as support until a stretch is felt in your right calf. Keep your leg straight while maintaining balance. Hold for 15 seconds and then repeat with the left foot. This stretch should be repeated for 10 sets on both legs.

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.


August 5, 2012

Mall walkers

When suffering from knee pain caused by osteoarthritis simple tasks like walking can be agonizing. However, walking is a great low impact exercise which can be done almost anywhere. Walking allows the knee to move through a normal range of motion with low impact on joints. Walking is easy to do, requires only your time and effort and can also help you lose weight.

It is important to walk on an even surface such as a track or treadmill. However, if you’re looking for a heated or air conditioned, flat surface, without a gym membership a shopping mall might be a perfect solution.  Malls provide stable walking conditions, heat or air conditioning and even a little window shopping. You can increase your distance or time as your knee grows stronger and more accustomed to your routine.



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.

Laying Leg Raises

Laying leg raises make it easier for someone with knee arthritis to stand in a steady position for extended periods of time. This exercise can be performed with a yoga mat on the floor or flat on a firm bed.
Lie on your back.   Plant one foot flat with the knee bent to provide stability while exercising the opposite leg. Lift your other leg off the floor while keeping your knee straight. You should try and keep your heel 12 to 18 inches off the bed. Hold this position for 7-10 seconds. This strengthens the hip flexor muscles as well as the muscles surrounding the knee. This exercise should be done until fatigue sets in and you should stop immediately if any pain is felt.

Partial Lunges

July 24, 2012

Partial Lunges

Lunges are an excellent exercise for stretching the calf as well as strengthening the hip flexor. Strong hip flexors and properly stretched calves allow the knee to move in its natural range of motion while being properly supported. Partial lunges can be added to any workout routine and can be performed anywhere.  This exercise can help reduce knee pain.

Using a wall or a piece of furniture for stability, place your right foot a shoulder’s width in front of the left, with both knees pointed forward. Your back leg is straight and your front knee is slightly bent. Gently transfer your weight to the front foot, without bending too far and causing pain. Hold for this position for 25 seconds then switch your feet in order to stretch both legs.

Stretching Partners

With over 10 million people suffering from knee osteoarthritis it shouldn’t be hard to find someone in the same boat as yourself. Not all knee osteoarthritis is the same but by creating an exercise routine or stretching regiment you will be much more likely to reach your goals. An exercise partner provides some extra motivation on days you’re not quite feeling your best. You can discuss your progress, arthritic knee treatment, and help each other reduce knee pain and joint stiffness.

Keeping track of your workouts as well as monitoring your efforts allows you to see your improvements. A steady routine and a helpful workout partner can be the difference between reducing your knee pain dramatically or losing motivation and becoming overwhelmed.

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.