Improving Range Of Motion Muscle Strength And Weight Control Can Help Reduce Pain And Make Your Knees Feel Younger
Knee pain is common in older age, often caused by osteoarthritis . Fortunately, there are ways to fool Father Time and postpone knee problems or even prevent them entirely. “In many cases, you can delay or avoid the need for surgical intervention, such as a knee replacement,” says Dr. Lars Richardson, an orthopedic surgeon with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Ways To Help Prevent Knee Pain
Our knees are weight-bearing joints and they carry a heavy load. We put so much pressure on them while walking, running, playing sportsand the list continues. Over time, this can cause knee cartilage to deteriorate, leading to knee pain and injury. But taking steps to preserve your knees now, no matter your age, can help prevent knee problems later on.
Here are five ways to go easy on your knees.
1. Lead an active lifestyle.
Bike riding, swimmingany activity that requires your knees to go through a full range of motionwill enable the fluid thats inside of your knees to lubricate the knees. This contributes to flexibility so you dont get stiff knees.
Theres one catch: While all activities are great to living a healthy lifestyle, some are gentler on the knees than others. If you can choose between activities like running and swimming, I would choose swimming because it eliminates gravity from the equation. Activities where youre pounding your joints can break down cartilage more quickly. Activities that dont put an excessive load on the joints, like biking and swimming, are great. However, I dont want to knock runningits definitely a heart-healthy exercise.
If you do run, make sure you use proper formand adhere to the rest of these knee-preserving tips!
2. Manage your weight and eat a healthy diet.
3. Stretch often.
5. Wear sturdy, proper shoes.
To find an orthopedic surgeon at Henry Ford, visit henryford.com or call 1-800-436-7936.
The Best Gluteus Medius Strengthening Exercises
Now as for the best exercises to strengthen the gluteus medius, two recent large systematicreviews have compared the activation of the gluteus medius during a variety of different exercises.These studies will serve as our primary resource for optimal exercise selection of the glute medius.However, rather than simply performing the highest activating exercises right away, its best in your case to:
Gradually strengthen the gluteus medius by progressing from lower to higher demanding exercises.
…which is exactly what we’re going to do.
Exercise 1: Side Lying Hip Abductions
One low demanding yet suitable non-weight bearing exercise to start out with is something called side lying hip abductions.Research shows are effective at targeting the gluteus medius while minimizing unwanted activity from stronger muscle groups like the hip flexors. Simply meaning that they’re a great way to first experience what it’s like to fire this muscle properly.To do them, lay on your side with your legs straight and feet together. In a controlled manner, lift your top leg to roughly 45 degrees WITHOUT any rotation of your pelvis.Your pelvis should instead stay pointing straight away from you.You also dont want to rotate your toes towards the ceiling to compensate. Instead, you can keep them very slightly pointed towards the floor to better activate the gluteus medius.When done properly, you should feel a strong contraction in the gluteus medius of the leg youre raising up as shown here:
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What Not To Do:
- Do not lock the knees during this exercise. The knees should remain slightly bent.
- Do not allow any part of the stepping foot to hang off the stool or platform.
- People who have issues with balance should not perform this exercise.
Muscles involved: Quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles.
There are many different ways to stretch the hamstrings in the back of the legs. One is through traditional toe touching.
- With the feet close together, slowly bend over at the hips and extend the arms downward. Keep the legs straight but do not lock the knees.
- Reach the fingers to the top of the toes and hold for 30 seconds.
- Initially, it may not be possible to reach the toes. In this case, try to get the fingers as close as possible to the toes without causing pain.
What not to do:
- Do not use a bouncing motion. Hold the body still.
Chronic Pain In The Back Relief
Chronic pain in the back relief is very achievable as long as you have no severe physical injury or occurring illness
Neck and back pain is blamed, typically for poor muscle tone specifically on the affected area. Overall, 90% of chronic back pain sufferers are people that hardly ever see a workout routine. And the other 10% have the condition due to injury such as ripped muscles.
If you have back pain, you are not alone. Neck and back pain the one of the most common neurological problem that doctors detect in the United States, beside headache. So its no cause to fret if you have one.
And no, the majority of neck and back pain is not always associated with age , instead it is the absence of physical activity and deficiency in liquid intake.
Specifying the pain is essential in order to control it. And for purposes of our definition, we categorize back pain into 3 classifications. We have the Acute Pain In The Back, Persistent Neck And Back Pain, and the Neuropathic Pain In The Back. Severe back pain is a common type of pain that is straight related to a damage tissue. It is experienced right away, characterized by sharp, biting pain of a harmed tissue.
It is normally accepted that severe neck and back pain lasts less than 3 months if left untreated. If the pain persists longer after it has been healed or treated then it falls now under the classification of persistent pain in the back.
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Tips To Help You Achieve Success With A Walking Program
People newly diagnosed with a knee condition should first have an assessment and initial treatment done by a physiotherapist. Start with bike riding and swimming before beginning a walking program. Once you are ready to begin a walking and weight training program, hire an advanced personal trainer with experience and knowledge about rehabilitation. The goal with working out is to strengthen your knee and prolong the need for a knee replacement. The sooner you can develop muscle and strengthen the connective tissue, the more successful a knee replacement will be later on!
Good Luck and Happy Training
Cathie Glennon BCRPA/SFL, Rehabilitation Specialist,Pharm.Tech
Apple Cider Vinegar And Other Foods
According to some sources, apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve arthritis and other types of pain.
However, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support this. The Arthritis Foundation refers to ACV as a food myth.
Other popular advice for arthritis includes:
- consuming collagen, gelatin, or pectin, and raw foods.
- avoiding dairy, acidic foods, and nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant
There is no evidence to suggest that these are helpful or even advisable.
It commonly affects teenagers, especially young female athletes. It is the most common overuse syndrome in sportspeople.
Most cases of front knee pain are injuries from overuse, or from poor preparation for exercise. The problems usually go away on their own, and sporting activities can resume after the pain subsides.
The pain varies but tends to:
- be a dull ache that starts gradually, and is linked to activities
- produce clicking or other sounds
- come on when going upstairs, or when getting up after a long time sitting, squatting down, or kneeling
- produce a weakness in the legs
Recommended treatments for front knee pain include:
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How Are Knee Problems Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, other tests for knee problems may include:
X-ray. This test uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic resonance imaging . This test uses large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body can often determine damage or disease in a surrounding ligament or muscle.
Computed tomography scan . This test uses X-rays and computer technology to make horizontal, or axial, images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
Arthroscopy. A minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube , which is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen used to evaluate any degenerative or arthritic changes in the joint to detect bone diseases and tumors to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.
Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patients bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
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The Quickest And Easiest Way To Avoid Knee Replacement Surgery
When I was a kid, my grandma used to say she could tell when it was going to rain by the way her knees felt. Like many arthritis sufferers, her joint pain got worse on damp days.
Eventually, she decided she didnt want to live with stiff, painful knees anymore. So, she got knee replacement surgery. But the healing process from surgery was excruciating
She couldnt care for herself for six weeks. And it took close to six months for her to fully recover. Joint replacement surgery is no joke.
If youre already experiencing the signs of arthritis, youre probably afraid this excruciating surgery is somewhere in your future. But it doesnt have to be.
Theres something you can do today to decrease your odds of ever needing knee replacement surgery. And it only takes five to ten minutes!
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What Are The Symptoms Of Knee Pain In Teens
Symptoms depend on whats causing your teens knee pain.
Anterior knee pain:
- Pain begins gradually worsens with activity.
- Dull, aching pain behind the kneecap, below the knee or on sides of the kneecap.
- Pain flares and grinding sensation with repeat knee bending .
- Thigh muscle weakness .
- Knee buckles .
Trauma to knee:
- Popping, clicking, crackling in the knee when bending .
- Knee that locks or buckles.
- Pain on the bony prominence.
- Pain that varies and gets worse during or just after the activity.
- Reduced range of movement.
- Pain, tenderness and swelling at the bottom of the kneecap.
- Balance problems.
- Trouble putting weight on the affected leg limps first thing in the morning.
- Redness, swelling, warmth, stiffness and soreness in joints, including the knee.
- Symptoms come and go.
- Dull ache, stiffness and swelling at the knee.
- Joint clicking.
What Is Runners Knee
Image credit: Alignedmodernhealth.com
Runners knee, also known by its more scientific name as patellofemoral pain syndrome, refers to pain around the kneecaps that can be caused by running. Although non-runners certainly experience this issue too.
Without getting too science-y, knee pain happens when the patella is misaligned and rubs against things its not supposed to . This image shows where the pain usually occurs:
Image credit: Vivehealth.com/blogs/resources/runners-knee
Doctors and physical therapists generally agree that muscle weakness is the root cause of runners knee. Weak muscles cause various issues, like pelvis misalignment, and that results in the knee cap hitting the sides of the femoral groove because its not aligned correctly .
Hip, glute, quad and hamstring weakness are the main culprits.
But before starting a strength training regimen assess how much pain youre in now and read the next section before doing anything. Plus, we always recommend consulting a professional before beginning a strength training plan.
Hate Running Injuries?
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Learning How To Stop Knee Pain
Learning how to stop knee pain can be a very long and frustrating process with constant messages of use it or lose it, pain is weakness leaving the body, and Just do it! echoing in your head.
Yet the more you try to push the knee out of pain the more knee pain you find yourself in.
Before we get any further in the how-to stop knee pain, its recommended to do your due diligence to make sure nothing in your knee is broken or torn.
A doctors diagnosis is crucial in this process to understand exactly what youre dealing with to establish the proper strategy to stop knee pain.
The dynamics of finding out if something is broken or torn in your knee has changed with the introduction of social distancing.
We can begin learning if the pain can be relieved by changing the neurological signaling in the knee, by getting the pressure off the nerves causing the pain.
Understanding that knee pain is often caused by nerve irritation
We can begin taking initial steps to determine whether this is the underlying cause of pain in your case.
A more comprehensive understanding of how the pain has affected your mind, emotions, and body physically resulting in your knee pain may be required for maximum relief.
When the body feels pain, there is a sympathetic nervous system response so the body tenses up to protect itself from the pain, as well as the physiological experience of the pain itself.
The human body functions in a similar way after a knee injury.
How Can I Prevent Runners Knee Or Stop It From Coming Back
As touched on earlier, muscle weakness causes runners knee and studies have linked hip instability especially to runners knee. Weak hip muscles cause imbalances that through off your gait and subsequently cause pressure and impact where it shouldnt be.
But weak hips arent the entire story glutes and hamstrings can contribute to imbalances too.
In fact, a UNC School of Medicine study found:
- Participants with weaker hamstring muscles were 2.9 times more likely to develop the syndrome that those with the strongest hamstrings
- Those with weaker quadriceps muscles were 5.5 times more likely
And a wake up call for runners who neglect strength training.
So in order to prevent runners knee from happening , consider integrating the following 6 strengthening exercises into your weekly workout routine.
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Maintain A Healthy Weight
Excess weight puts stress on your joints, making you more susceptible to injuries or chronic knee pain and even leading to conditions like osteoarthritis.
If youre carrying extra pounds, you can avoid knee injuries by shedding some of it. If you have a healthy BMI, maintain your weight to continue preventing knee issues.
Looking Before You Leap And Other Ways To Prevent Knee Injuries
It is ironic that while movement can cause knee pain, movement can also prevent and alleviate knee pain. By bending and stretching, the muscles are lubricated and perform better. Exercise also helps us stay in shape and at a healthy weight keeping the knees strong and agile. Below, we have listed techniques you can use to prevent an injury divided into various sports categories.
When Should I Get My Teens Knee Pain Evaluated By A Healthcare Provider
Make an appointment to see your healthcare provider if:
- Your teens pain has lasted longer than two weeks or anytime theres an increase in pain level.
- Your teens knee is red, swollen or warm to the touch.
- Your teen cant put weight on their leg they limp.
- Your teens knee locks and cant move.
- Your teens kneecap feels like it slides out of place or the knee looks twisted.
- Your teen has knee pain during or after activity.
- Theres painful popping or clicking sound in your teens knee.
- Your teens knee doesnt have strength or full range of motion.
- Your teens pain wakes them up at night.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/30/2021.
Change The Way You Walk To Ease Knee Pain With Osteoarthritis
Overloaded or unevenly loaded knee joints can cause , or cause your OA to get worse. Learning how to walk differently may be able to correct the loading problem and reduce your knee pain. This approach is being studied in people with medial, or inner, compartment OA which is 10 times more common than other forms of knee OA.
The medial knee compartment bears a much higher load than the lateral compartment, says Pete Shull, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China. Thats just the way our bodies are structured. The inside knee compartment experiences loading thats two to three times higher than the outside.
Researchers are looking for ways to shift some of the medial compartments load to the lateral one. The lateral compartment almost always has healthy cartilage, says Shull. The compartments are like brake pads on a bike, unevenly worn. So by changing the way someone walks, we can get the cartilage in the compartments to wear more evenly.
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