KNEES THAT HURT
The knee joint is central in how the body handles activity. If the knee joint itself is relaxed, the entire body tends to release as well (especially the lower back). If there are problems with the knee, many really important things are affected. Most obviously walking becomes difficult. If it is hard to walk, we become less active and as a result more likely to suffer falls. If our knees hurt we are also more likely to shuffle our feet as we walk, again increasing our fall associated risk. Painful knees affect the joints adjacent: the feet and the hips. If your knees hurt the nearby joints stiffen up.
Circulation can be improved and inflammation reduced if you loosen any stiff areas. Keep your hips relaxed by sitting upright and bringing your knees together and open, a very simple, wonderful exercise. Foot exercises for improved mobility are also recommended.
The 2 best knee exercises in the world!
- Seated knee circles: Place both hands stacked, one on top of the other, under one thigh. (Put one hand on the seat of your chair, place the other on top of the first and lay your thigh down on top of your hands.) Let your foot be totally relaxed. Allow the lower leg to gently circle in each direction 4 times. If your knee is sore, make the circles small. Concentrate on relaxing the knee joint itself. If it hurts, this is a difficult thing to accomplish. Persevere. Make the circles smaller. Use less effort. Allow your lower leg and foot to be like a ragdoll. If it hurts your hands, use a rolled up towel under your leg instead.
- Standing knee circles: Have something to hold onto nearby. Stand with your feet fairly close together. The closer together your feet are the more challenging the exercise is. Place both hands on your knees or place one hand on one knee while you hold on to something else with the other. Circle your knees 4 times in each direction.
Do the exercises at the following times:
- Whenever you feel strain or pain in your knees, circle your knees.
- Warm your knees up just before going up and especially down stairs.
- Warm your knee joints up in the morning while sitting down. While sitting also warm up your feet by flexing and pointing each foot and circling your ankles.
While standing, try to keep your knee joints released. Shaking your legs gently one at a time helps. This in turn reduces lower back strain and makes your balance better.
It used to take one student 40 seconds of excruciating pain to straighten her knee in the morning. She began doing the seated knee circle exercise described above before getting up in the morning. Immediately she had NO PAIN upon standing! This is one of the techniques used throughout the Building Better Balance DVDs.
The 4th DVD in the Building Better Balance series, “Arthritis, Rotator Cuff Injuries & Other Chronic Conditions”, contains a complete exercise routine to improve knee health especially helpful for anyone suffering from problems of the knee, whether caused by arthritis or injury.