Thursday, August 25, 2011

Simple exercises maintain knee health



Please consult your doctor before taking up any exercise if you have not been trained to pay attention to body signals and even otherwise. I would also stress that, should you be having any health condition which requires specific care, please learn all about it. Today we have the Internet where, if we can allow ourselves some time for research, we can find a lot of information. Remember that in today’s world where money plays too big a role, medical care may not be guided solely by the desire to cure. Many procedures are expensive and not necessarily the best solution. You have to be the one to decide what needs to be done.
I had quite a lot of pain in my right knee last winter and, luckily, almost everyday, I had to pass a clinic which offered physiotherapy. Dr. Sheenu Jha   (Consultant physiotherapist at Kingdom of Dreams) worked on my knee and taught me simple exercises which have made it so much more easy for me to carry on a normal life.
The exercises are basically leg raises, performed both standing and lying. 
Here are some of the moves I do to strengthen other muscles of my leg so that my knee is not compromised.
I. Standing Straight Leg Raises
1. Straight Leg Raises, Standing 
Repeat 10 times.Support yourself, if necessary, and slowly lift your leg forward keeping your knee straight. Return to the starting position.

2. Same thing but with the leg going backwards  
This exercise strengthens balance, buttocks, lower back and hips. Keeping back straight, slowly lift one leg to the back, hold for about a second and then lower. Keep the standing leg slightly bent at all times to protect the back, and do not raise the working leg higher than you are comfortable with. Repeat 10 to 15 times with each leg, working toward two sets. You may choose to do eight reps in the beginning.
3. The same thing but with the leg going sideways 

II. Lying Straight Leg Raises
1. Do 10 reps/3 sets 
2. Still lying down, move your leg sideways and bring it back. Repeat 10 times with each leg. Perform 3 sets.
3. Cycling movements while lying down. Lie flat on your back and cycle. Ordinarily we do it upwards but here we are doing it so that the legs go forwards and backwards –not upwards and downwards. For this and the below exercise, 15 reps, 3 sets.
4. Reverse cycling. Perform the above movements in the reverse.

There was one more exercise with a rolled up towel or small ball: dandasana. Yoga for Healthy Knees: What You Need to Know for Pain Prevention and Rehabilitation (Rodmell Press Yoga Shorts)

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