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Archive for the ‘Stretching’ Category

Standing Calf Stretch


Stretching can help relieve knee pain in people with osteoarthritis.  Keeping your muscles loose and limber is important for your knees.  Stretching is actually at the core of many treatment programs for osteoarthritis of the knee.  Stretching is free and you don’t need a prescription for it.  Hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and hip flexors are the muscles that need special attention.  If your legs are tight your knees will be stiff.  You want your knee joint to slide, glide, and rotate easily.  Limber muscles will help achieve that.  Stretching and strength training are necessary if you are looking to avoid surgery or cut back on prescriptions and over the counter pain killers.  If your excuse for not stretching and exercising is that your knees hurt, try a knee brace.

Knee Exercises

Exercise and stretching can help prevent and relieve knee pain associated with osteoarthritis.  When done regularly stretches, low-impact aerobic exercise, and strengthening exercise can provide many benefits.

Increase Function and Range of Motion – Exercise and stretching will keep the muscles surrounding the knee joint limber.  The more you stretch the greater your knee’s range of motion.  The easier it is for your knee to move, the easier it will be to exercise.

Pain reduction – An unstable knee joint will do much better when supported by strong muscles.  The knee can be protected from repetitive impacts, like walking, by strengthening the muscles that surround the knee.  The hamstrings and quadriceps should be the primary focus.  Exercise also releases the body’s natural pain relievers, endorphins.


Workout Partners

Stretching is very important for an arthritic knee.  When you think knee osteoarthritis it’s easy to focus only on the knee joint.  However, the muscles surrounding the knee should not be forgotten.

The hamstrings and quadriceps play an important role in managing knee pain.  Tight muscles put unnecessary stain on arthritic knees.  By stretching you help keep the anatomy surrounding your knee healthy and limber.  Exercise is important.  Just walking will help keep your knee joint lubricated.  Healthy stretched muscles will help an arthritic knee move easier, facilitating that movement of fluid that’s so important to healthy knee joints.

The muscles, ligaments, bones, and cartilage all work together in the knee joint.  They need to work together as a team.  Stretching is a great way to reduce knee pain and facilitate a healthier lifestyle.


Stretching is important for people with knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.  Why?  Because all your muscles, bones, and cartilage work together.  The knee joint slides, glides, and rotates – it’s complicated.  If your muscles are tight, your knee won’t function to its potential.  Your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and hip flexors all need to be loose – and used regularly.

My grandmother told me when I was much younger that “if you don’t use it, you lose it.”  Simple words.  True words.

You don’t have to go anywhere to stretch.  Stretching doesn’t cost anything.  You don’t need drugs or surgery to stretch.  You can stretch right now.  If you were able to locate this blog post, then you have the ability to research a stretching program on line.  There are plenty of posts on this blog about what muscles to stretch, different types of stretching, and why it’s so beneficial.

Look around, learn more, help yourself feel better.  You can control your knee pain without surgery, and without drugs.

Try an arthritis knee sleeve to get you up and moving.



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.

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.

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.

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.