Bad Knee Anyone? Here are Tips to Protect your Weak Knees
Posted Oct 15 2012 8:30am
If you have ever suffered from bad knee, you know that the knee joint is one of the most complex articulations in the human body. It bears the weight of most of the body as we walk each day. It is also one of the most vulnerable joints, especially if you are physically active.
If your knees are bothering you when you work out, it can be tempting (even seem like the right thing to do) to stop exercising. However, it is vital to the health of your knees, as well as your body in general, to continue exercising. Exercise, in fact, can be a beneficial thing to do for bad knee.
A large number of Americans are afflicted with knee problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there were 676,000 total knee replacements in 2009. Isn’t that a massive number? Especially if you consider the terrifying cost of a knee replacement surgery and the large number of people who lack medical insurance. Earlier this year, a friend of mine traveled to get her simply because the pain from her bad knee was getting unbearable, and she could not afford to meet the medical expenses here in the United States. There are thousands like her, who brave the pain for long as they can and travel to Mexico or India, when it gets too much.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could avoid the emotionally and financially taxing process of going through a knee replacement? Well, at least you can try to. In order to protect your bad knee from getting worse, there are certain types of exercise that you should avoid doing, so that you won’t injure your knees further.
If you Suffer from bad knee, follow these tips
Steer clear of exercises such as lunges or squats that involve jumping or other strenuous uses of the knee.
Cut out from your routine any exercises that cause your knee joint to make a 90 degree angle, with your thigh parallel to the ground.
If you suffer from bad knee, do not exercise on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt. Carpeted or grassy areas are much better, as they will reduce the amount of shock that your knees will have to take when you exercise.
The best kinds of exercises are light and low-impact, like the elliptical machine and the stationary bike.
Knee braces can help with your bad knee, as well. The motion of the knee is not all back and forth, there is also a slight rotation involved, which can be more of a problem if you already have bad knees. A knee brace can stabilize the area and make sure that this rotation doesn’t go too far.
It is not possible to strengthen the actual knee. It is just four bones, cartilage, and ligaments and tendons. However, what you can do is strengthen the areas around the knee that support it, such as the hamstrings on the back of the thighs, the quadriceps on the front of the thighs, and the calf muscles. You can build up these muscles, thereby stabilizing the knee joint, by doing these simple exercises:
Simple exercises for a bad knee
Heel-Toe Raises: Sitting with your legs extended out in front of you, keep your leg straight as you raise it to touch the heel of the raised foot to the toes of the other. This activity can also be modified to Toe-Toe Raises, in which it is performed the same way, except you rotate the foot to touch toes.
Clam Shell: Lying on your side, with you legs slightly bent, raise and lower the top leg, like a clam.
Calf Raises: In a standing position, stand on the edge of a platform and lift your body up high using solely the power of your toes and come back down. Lean slightly on the wall to keep your balance.
Leg Raises: Get down on all fours and raise one leg back and out. This can be done with a bent leg, or you can straighten it out as you raise it, whichever is more comfortable.
The Fire Hydrant: This maneuver is performed from the same position as leg raises. On all fours, raise your leg laterally, or out sideways, like a dog marking its territory.
It is highly recommended that people with bad knee to take care of it with these simple, but effective exercises above. The main thing is to not stop exercising because of bad knees. If you know your limits and the right activities to do, exercise can benefit and prevent your knees from getting worse, enabling you to be a more active and healthy individual.
If, however, you feel too much damage has already been done and a non-surgical remedy is not an option for you, seek advice from an orthopedic surgeon at the earliest.
About the author: Dr. Deepika Garg – Dentist and an internet enthusiast, involved in medical tourism and helping people find low-cost , India, Thailand, Costa Rica, South Korea and other countries.
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