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How To Save Your Knees

Use Targeted Exercises To Build Muscle

Save your Knees

Moderate exercise is an excellent way to help protect your knee joints. Building up the muscles around your knees helps reduce the stress on your joints. Your outer, middle, and inner thigh muscles and calf muscles help support your knees.

Your local gym may offer senior exercise classes with instructors who have been specially trained to work with men and women over 50. Water aerobics is also a great way to get non-weight bearing exercise. If youd rather work out by yourself, check in with a trainer whos knowledgeable about senior exercise needs.

At your next physical, ask your doctor to check your leg strength. If youre weak, physical therapy can help strengthen your muscles, and the therapist can show you beneficial exercises for your knees.

What Not To Do

  • Do not let the back arch during the exercise.
  • Do not jerk or bounce the leg or lift it above the knee on the bent leg.
  • People who have osteoporosis or a back compression fracture should not perform this exercise.

Muscles involved: Hamstrings and gluteal muscles.

  • Stand straight with the knees only 12 inches apart. Hold on to a stable chair, the countertop, or another object for balance.
  • Slowly bend one knee behind the body, lifting the heel off the floor while keeping the thighs aligned. Continue to lift the heel in a smooth motion until the knee bend reaches a 90-degree angle. Keep the straight leg slightly bent to avoid locking it.
  • Hold the bent leg up for 5 seconds and then slowly lower it to the floor.
  • Repeat two more times with the same leg.
  • Switch sides and repeat.
  • Do More Strengthening Exercises

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking knee exercises are only for retirees. Adding them into your exercise routine can do wonders for those sensitive joints in the long run. With sturdy muscle groups, your knees are able to twist and turn, move, and bend in much safer ways. You’ll find a better balance between mobility and stability too, Dr. DiNubile says.

    With one leg at a time, slowly step onto a bench or step that is between six and twelve inches high. Make sure your whole foot is flat on the surface before you rise up. Pick up small weights to give your quads a little extra fire. This simple exercise will firm up all the muscles around your knee â go slowly, though, to ensure you get the most out of it.

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    Strengthen The Muscles That Support Your Knees

    Developing strong thigh muscles especially the quadriceps, hamstrings and abductors improves range of motion, protects knee cartilage and reduces the stress you place on the knee, says Richard Willy, an assistant professor of physical therapy at the University of Montana School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences. Get in the habit of doing squats and lungestwice a week, making sure that your knees stay above your feet and don’t extend in front of your toes. After age 50, avoid squatting below a 90-degree angle , because deep squats increase pressure on the knees, Cardone warns. If you prefer to use weight machines, opt for the leg press, hamstring curl, knee extension and outer-thigh machines, Willy advises.

    Things You Can Do To Extend The Life Of These Essential Joints

    Age Proof Your Knees

    by Stacey Colino, AARP, Updated December 3, 2019| 0

    En español | If you’ve walked, jogged and hiked this far without any major knee trouble, there’s more you can do than thank your lucky stars. A few basic steps can help you protect your knees as you age.

    Besides being the largest joint in the human body, the knees are unique in that the motion involved is very complex, says Sanjeev Bhatia, an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon and codirector of the Northwestern Medicine Hip and Knee Joint Preservation Center at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Illinois. The knee has three compartments, any of which can cause pain with wear and tear.

    With the passage of time, a certain amount of wear and tear on your joints is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to affect the way your knees feel, function or move. If you experience a clicking or popping sensation in the joint when you walk, bend or lunge, but there’s no pain or swelling, you don’t need to worry about it, says Dennis Cardone, D.O., an associate professor of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine at NYU Langone Health in New York City. On the other hand, if you have pain or swelling with that clicking or popping, it’s best to schedule a visit to your doctor.

    Otherwise, to minimize your risk of experiencing pain, stiffness and inflammation in your knees, take these steps to protect these essential joints.

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    Knee Deep: A Complex And Vulnerable Joint

    Her torn ACL diagnosis confirmed, Piplica quickly learned how susceptible the knees can be to injury. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, these joints are responsible for sending nearly 15 million Americans to the doctor every year.

    And it’s not just athletes who suffer. Knee problems can happen to anyone.

    “Because they’re the main hinge between the ground and the rest of your body, the knees serve as your ‘wheels’ that get you around and allow you to be active,â says University of Pennsylvania orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Nicholas DiNubile, MD. “Life can really go downhill when you damage your knees,â says DiNubile, who is a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and author of FrameWork – Your 7-Step Program for Healthy Muscles, Bones and Joints.

    Bound by an intricate system of ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and muscle, the knee is highly prone to injury. It’s a complex hinge where the femur , tibia , fibula and kneecap all come together.

    “It’s hard to find the right balance between mobility and stability the knee needs to move back and forth, twist a little, and pivot too,â DiNubile says. The knee’s ligaments can tear, its tendons can swell up, osteoarthritis can take hold, and even everyday wear and tear can ruin a perfectly good set of knees.

    Here are six pitfalls you can avoid to save your knees.

    How To Run To Save Your Knees

    As it is known, running is useful for heart health, but it is not so good for knee health. In this article you will find out, how to take care of your knees to maintain them flexible and healthy all life long.

    Nowadays no one doubts the positive impact of regular running to cardiovascular system. However, it is controversial, what an impact running leaves on skeleton and joints in long term and whether running is equally good both for men and women. The main concern is connected with question, whether regular running causes osteoarthritis and permanent knee damages.

    The place, where the knee connects with the bone of tight, is particularly threatened. Researchers have found, that sports, where whole body weight is based on legs, are dangerous for women, because they double and even triple possibility of osteoarthritis in knees and hips. There are also terrifying data about women athletes. Women, who run and jump, have 4 to 8 times higher risk than men to damage their knees.

    A lot of theories affirm, that women have higher risk of traumas because of anatomical particularities: the width of hip enlarges the angle, in which knee is located to the hip joint, while moving and running. Also women hormones naturally make their tendons more elastic. We must take into account, that womens legs are not so strong and their reaction speed is slower than mens reaction, therefore, injuries occur more frequently.

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    Listen To Your Knee Pain

    If you develop pain and swelling in your knee, take a break from walking, running or any other high-impact activity you’re doing. Give your knee the RICE treatment rest, ice, compression and elevation and take an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, Rue advises. If it gets better on its own, you can go back to what you were doing, he says. If it doesn’t respond in a week or two, have it looked at by a doctor. In the meantime, you can continue to exercise by doing a gentle activity, including swimming, aqua aerobics or bicycling, Willy says, so that you don’t lose any of the fitness you’ve been building.

    Ways To Protect Your Knees

    Knee Pain Exercise…SAVE YOUR KNEES with this important squat tweak

    One of my very first yoga teachers used to always say, “You can mess with the gods, but you can’t mess with the knees.” At the time it was nothing more than a joke to me and I didn’t think much of it, only because I had never experienced a knee injury before. Two years later, however, I came to terms with just how true this parable is. I busted my right knee in a particularly intense weight training session in 2014 and it has never been the same.

    I wish I could blame it entirely on that one moment, but I know that the damage had been stirring for a while. I was overexerting in all kinds of physical activity, from yoga to hiking, and I wasn’t doing enough to recuperate after all the effort. Luckily, after months of treatments, my knee has been a lot better â but I’ll never again underestimate how delicate that part of the body is again.

    Most of us don’t realize what kind of stress our knees are constantly in, so we often take them for granted. An intricate mix of tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and muscle, our knees are the most significant hinge in the human body. University of Pennsylvania orthopedic surgeon Nicholas DiNubile told WebMD that the knees “serve as your ‘wheels,'” and if they’re in bad shape, the quality of your life immediately declines.

    Here are eight ways to protect your knees.

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    Hamstring Curls On A Weight Bench

    Muscles involved: Hamstrings and gluteal muscles.

    This exercise is a variation of the standing hamstring curl. A person can try this version if they have access to a weight bench that is purpose-built for this exercise. It may be more challenging than the standing hamstring curl, depending on how much weight a person uses.

  • Lie face down on the bench with the knees close together. Grip the handles for stability.
  • Tuck the feet under the weight. The weight should sit just above the heels.
  • Slowly bend both knees, using the force of the legs to raise the weight up. Continue to lift the weight in a smooth motion until the knees bend at a 90-degree angle.
  • Hold the weight up for 5 seconds and then slowly lower it back down.
  • Perform up to 15 repetitions .
  • Apply Heat To Your Knees & Massage Them

    When you’ve got some free time this weekend, prop up your legs and bundle your knees up in something warm, like a heating pad or thermal wrap. The heat will boost circulation in the joints and reduce aches and pains. Then treat yourself with a self-massage. Gently dig into the muscles around the knees to get everything loosened up. A quick rubdown will release the tension, allowing the joints to recover and regroup for whatever is next on the agenda.

    Images: Fotolia Giphy

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    Why Does My Knee Ache

    Probable causes of the pain

    Form FlawsWilly says hip adduction when the thigh moves inward from the hip mid-stride, causing a knock-kneed effect is one of the most common sources of biomechanical-related knee pain. Overstriding is another.

    Unknown Factors Pain is something researchers are still working to understand better, says Willy, adding that joint-related pain seems to be individual. Two runners with the same biomechanics can go through the same training programme, and one gets injured but the other doesnt, he says. We really dont know exactly why that happens. He says that variables such as sleep quality, nutrition, and even psychosocial factors such as fear of getting injured may contribute.

    Anatomy Of A Healthy Knee

    Save Your Knees

    The knee joins the largest bone in the bodythe femurto the tibia. The bottom of the femur, or thigh bone, is connected to the tibia by a cap-shaped piece of bone called the patella, or knee cap. Each of these bones is covered with a thin, smooth coating called articular cartilage.

    There are two tough, rubbery pieces of cartilage between the femur and tibia. Combined, these pieces of cartilage are called the meniscus, and act as shock absorbers between the two bones.

    The four main ligaments that help control movement and support the joint are the anterior , posterior , medial , and lateral cruciate ligaments. The entire knee is also surrounded by a fluid-filled membrane called a synovial membrane. This membrane produces a fluid that lubricates the cartilage in the joint to reduce friction during movement.

    It can be difficult to maintain this joint when each step you take puts about one-and-a-half times of your body weight worth of pressure on it. This is why it’s important to take care of your joint early to prevent knee damage.

    An active person takes about 10,000 steps each day. This means that each knee is shouldering about 5,000 steps every single day. For an adult weighing 150 pounds, each knee joint bears about 225 pounds per step, or more than 1.1 million pounds per day.

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    Balance Form And Weight:

    Your knees and hips are more vulnerable to injury because they bear the weight of most of your body. A force of three to six times your body weight is exerted on your knee with each level step you take. So even being just 20 pounds overweight, or carrying an extra 20 pounds on your backpack adds 60-120 pounds of extra weight on your knees. This is why its so important to maintain a healthy body weight, and reduce any unnecessary pack weight for the best knee health. If you experience knee pain fairly often during descents or are sore afterwards, it may be that you need to improve your form or pack weight.

    Watch out for downhill:

    Any extra force that is applied to your knees is much further amplified on non-level surfaces. The compressive forces that the knee experiences while going downhill are three to four times greater when compared to walking on level ground. After exploring the majestic mountains near Sevierville, avoid being injured while walking downhill with these tips:

    • Dont lock your knees when walking down a steep decline. Keep your knees flexed while walking at a steady, slow pace. Increasing your speed tends to lengthen your stride, which in turn intensifies the weight and impact on your knees.
    • Walk in a zig-zag motion, sideways or s-shaped instead of just going straight down hill whenever possible.

    Tips To Protect Your Knees As You Age

    Your knees bear a lot of weight as well as a large responsibility for your ability to effectively get around. They also contain a lot of moving parts, from ligaments and cartilage to muscles and bones, that can become damaged either from injury or the natural wear and tear of age, making it difficult to stay active and enjoy everything life has to offer.

    Fortunately, Dr. Struan Coleman is an expert in preventive joint care and offers the following tips to help you protect your knee joints as you age:

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    How To Hike Right To Save Your Knees

    When it comes to hiking, nothing is more important than your knees. I mean, sure youre probably going to want feet, legs will help, and the rest of your body probably has something to contribute, but without knees? Forget it!

    In fact, knee injuries are one of the most common ways in which preppers damage their bodies when out on the trail. While the risk of knee injuries increases with age,anyone who hikes, especially on steep or challenging trails, is at risk. This is because your knees bear more of your weight than almost any other part of your body. With each step, they have to absorb the shock of your body weight while at the same time flexing to facilitate motion in your leg.

    Lets talk risks. First of all, the way in which most people injure their knees is actually by hiking down hill. When you are using your knees to braces each step, you strain them. Additionally, when going down hill many have a natural tendency to speed up, which also increases the impact exerted on your knees .

    Any easy way to protect your knees when ascending and descending rugged trails is to use walking sticks/poles. These help distribute some of the weight of each step to your arms and to the stick itself, meaning less stress on your knees. If youre serious about your ability to prepare long-term, it might be good to get used to efficiently walking with a walking pole or stick, because youll need it at some point in your life.

    Quick Ways To Protect And Strengthen Your Knees

    How to save your knees

    Strengthen your knees to save them from further damage with these easy-to-implement daily habits. You will need a light free weight and a yoga mat.

    Do your knees need nurturing? As I watch my toddler teeter and tumble to the floor while learning to walk, I cant help but think how nice it must be to have brand-new knees.

    Throughout our youth, we engage in many activities that are rough on our knees without ever realizing how critical this joint is to our mobility. And, luckily, there were copious amounts of cushiony cartilage bearing the brunt of our high-impact, knee-knocking ways.

    As the largest, strongest joint in the body, the knees enable you to perform everyday movements from sitting to standing, to jumping, bending, and walking. But as the body matures, years of wear and tear cause bothersome aches and pains, making us increasingly aware of this sensitive joints fragility. So its important to do everything possible to protect your knees as you age.

    Strengthen your knees to save them from further damage with these easy-to-implement daily habits. You will need a light free weight and a yoga mat.

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