Sore, Weak or Painful Knees???   Leave a comment

Do you have weak, painful, or arthritic knees?  Then you’ve got to read this article on USA Today about keeping knees pain free.

http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/story/2011-09-26/Keeping-knees-pain-free-and-flexible/50560376/1

I’m extremely concerned with the excessive use of medications and surgery in modern medicine, and knee replacement is no exception.  What might be good for a small percentage of people with truly destroyed joints has become a “quick fix” for far too many people.

But as I find with most extreme medical treatments, there’s some very practical ways to treat yourself and your ailing and aging knees that are far less obtrusive than total replacement of the joint.

And what are the best ways to help your knees have a long, pain free life?  Here’s what researchers and doctors have to say.

“The best ways to slow down arthritis and help preserve cartilage cushioning knees and other joints are to follow the Arthritis Foundation’s guidelines, says physician John Richmond, chairman of the group who wrote the AAOS 2008 guidelines for treatments less invasive than knee replacements. At the top of the list is losing weight.”

“The only treatment that actually slows down the progress of the disease is weight loss,” says Richmond, chairman of New England Baptist Hospital’s department of orthopedic surgery in Boston. “You might think restricting activity would help but it does not.”

They go on to say that for every 1lb lost, you take 4lbs off your knee joint!  Furthermore, they go on to say the best three ways to prevent or slow the process of knee replacement is- lose weight, get exercising, and build muscle.  In particulary, they discuss building the muscles that support the knee.  The primary ones being the quads and hamstrings.

A good balance of strength and flexibility is really the best medicine.  If I had to endorse one exercise as the Single Best Exercise for Healthy Knees, it would be the SQUAT.

BUT!  I rarely see people come in the doors of our classes that can squat correctly.  Somehow we all sit in chairs every day, but ask someone to squat in open space, lowering their butt down below their knees and the brain says, “no way, I’m going to fall over.”  So the standard squat does one of two big things wrong.

1) Pitching forward at the waist and sticking your butt backwards, but never lowering it below the knees.  This makes your low back take too much strain, and you will never develop good quad and knee strength like this.

2) Even worse than the first, throwing your knees forward and squatting with all the stress in your knee joint.  Although there’s some exceptions to this, your goal in a squat is to sit down without letting your knees pass your toes.

So if you’re suffering with knee pain, artiritis, or weakness, make sure you learn to squat correctly and get working.

Dedicated to your health,

David Beares

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Posted October 12, 2011 by 39minuteworkout in Uncategorized

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