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Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

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.



Pilates

July 12, 2012

Chair Pilates

Pilates can be a great tool for managing osteoarthritis knee pain. Pilates can increase flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance. By including Pilates as part of your arthritis treatment you can lose weight while improving your overall sense of well-being. Studies have shown people with arthritis who perform Pilates had a better range of motion and less stiffness than people who did not include Pilates in their exercise routines.

Pilates can be a great benefit to arthritis suffers because it can strengthen the muscles supporting the knee joint. When combining Pilates with aerobic exercises you can establish a workout routine to lose weight and strengthen knee muscles while reducing knee pain.



Standing Hamstring Stretch

A common stretching exercise used to increase flexibility in the knee would be a standing hamstring stretch. This stretch can be performed using a stool to slowly increase flexibility without causing pain in arthritic knees. This stretch can be done in your house, office, or in the gym, which makes it an easy and beneficial stretch.

A standing hamstring stretch is done by placing one foot on an 18-inch platform. Stepstools work great. Leave your right foot on the floor and place your left foot on the stool with the knee bent at around 15°. Gently lean forward reaching for your left foot keeping your back straight. Continue until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh. Hold for 20 seconds. Then alternate legs. This stretch should be repeated for 10 sets on both legs.



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.

 



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.



Knee function can be improved with better balance.  Not only that, but muscle strength and the physical activities of daily living can also get better with improved balance.

Just about any undertaking that keeps a person up and moving, like walking, can help maintain and improve balance.  Specific exercises to improve balance can easily be added to an exercise routine.   A person can balance on one foot while watching television or while waiting for the subway.  Standing up and sitting down without hands can also strengthen legs and improve balance.

Improving balance can help knee osteoarthritis, and reduce the risk of falling.



If you read it once you read it a thousand times – one of the best treatment options for knee osteoarthritis is exercise.  Stand up and get those joints moving.  The simple act of walking helps lubricate the knee joint.  Whatever activity you choose remember that the idea is to bend the knee.

Cartilage is made up mostly of water.  That water needs to move around to keep your knee healthy.  The  fluid in your knee contains all the things needed to keep your cartilage healthy.  Bending your knee helps force that fluid to the places it needs to get to.

What’s the best way to keep a door hinge from squeaking?  Oil the hinge or don’t use the door.  Bending the knee is a great help for arthritic knees – it’s like oiling a squeaky door hinge.



Osteoarthritis linked with obesity

 

Studies have shown that knee osteoarthritis is 4 to 5 times more prominent in obese individuals. Knee osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage in a joint. By losing weight and reducing the stress placed on the joint, it is possible to slow the cartilage destruction. For every 10lbs of weight lost it is possible to reduce the strain on the joint by 30-50lbs.  Weight loss can cause a staggering reduction in pressure and can decrease knee pain immensely.

Low impact exercise routines reduce the joint stress associated with body weight, while allowing you to lose weight. Start slow with a workout that challenges you, yet does not cause pain. Proper diet and exercise can provide the necessary jumpstart to a knee pain free lifestyle.

 



Seated Pillow Squeeze

January 18, 2012

Seated Pillow Squeeze

You don’t have to spend money and time on a gym membership to exercise if you have knee osteoarthritis. A seated pillow squeeze is a simple workout which can be performed at home without the use of complicated equipment. This exercise uses a pillow and a chair!

Using a sturdy chair (not one with wheels), sit upright with your feet firmly placed on the ground. Place a pillow folded in half in between your knees, and squeeze slowly counting to 5. You should feel your muscles contract in your inner thighs. Repeat this for 12 times taking 20 second breaks in between sets.