elderly pain with arthritis walking with cane

Daily Knee Exercises for Arthritis Pain

When you struggle with knee pain from arthritis, you know the effort it takes just to complete normal daily activity. From swelling to stiffness- the last thing you want to do is move. However, knee pain from arthritis can be lessened with the help of exercise.

 

How Arthritis Affects the Knees

 

The ends of the bones that meet in the knee joint are covered with cartilage. This cartilage provides cushioning and protection to the bones as you move. The knee also has the meniscus between the thigh and shin bone. The meniscus protects the cartilage.

When someone has arthritis, the cartilage wears down over time. As the bones rub together, they create friction on the joints. This may lead to bone spurs, swelling and stiffness. Bending and straightening the knee with arthritis is difficult.

The meniscus can wear down too. According to Dr. Johnson, Orthopedic Surgeon at CCMH, The meniscus is like a brake pad on your car.  “It won’t last forever, “ said Dr. Johnson. “The number of cycles you put on it cause wear and tear. It may not be able to protect cartilage as well as it could before it was worn out.” A tear in your meniscus or other injury to your knee can damage or cause additional wear, which can predispose you to knee osteoarthritis earlier than you would with the normal aging process.”

Knee arthritis is not uncommon. It usually starts at  50 years of age and older.

 


Using Exercise to Help Knee Arthritis


Exercises for arthritis including aerobics and strength exercises can reduce symptoms, increase balance, add joint motion and function, and aid in weight control.

“Your body relies on muscles to help motor joints,”  stated Dr. Johnson. “For the knee, that’s the quadriceps in the front of the thigh and hamstrings in the back. You can’t cure arthritis or make it go away, but if you strengthen the muscles that support and stabilize the knee, you can take some of the stress load of weight-bearing or walking off a joint that’s worn out and weakened from arthritis, and place it on the stronger muscle.”

 

Things to Consider Before  Exercising with Knee Arthritis


It is always advisable to discuss a new exercise program with your physician. A doctor or physical therapist can help you choose a program that is safe, helps you gain strength, and won’t increase inflammation and joint pain. If you’ve had knee surgery, get guidance from your doctor or physical therapist on what knee exercises are safe for you.

 

Joint Protection Tips

Commit to doing a little exercise each day


Dr. Johnson suggests trying to stay active even when arthritis flares up. Simple range-of-motion stretches may actually help reduce pain.

 


Begin slowly


If you do too much too fast, your muscles may be overworked and joint pain worsened. Slowly increase in exercise intensity and length as you progress.

 


Start with gentle stretches

“When beginning any activity, start with five minutes or 10 minutes of stretching to help elongate the muscles and make them easier to move,”  Dr. Johnson said. “And do it again at the end. Don’t force any stretches; keep your movements slow and easy. With strength training, begin with fewer reps or lower weight, and build up gradually.”

Listen to your body


If your joints start to ache or you experience new joint pain, stop. Discuss with your doctor to learn what pain is normal. Some discomfort may be normal, but your doctor can help you identify pain that is more serious.

 


Exercises to Relieve Knee Pain from Arthritis

 

Dr. Johnson recommended these knee exercises:

 

Hamstring Stretch


This exercise stretches the back of your thigh and behind your knee.

While lying on the floor with both legs bent and feet on the ground, lift one leg off the floor and bring the knee toward your chest. Put your hands behind your thigh below your knee. (You may also loop a towel around your thigh and grasp the end, if it is easier.)
Straighten your leg and pull it toward your head gently until you feel a stretch.
Hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.
Repeat the sequence one or two more times on each leg.
Don’t put your hands (or towel) at your knee joint and pull.

Quadricep Stretch

 

This exercise stretches the front of your thigh.

Stand behind a chair or next to a wall. Hold on for balance.
Bend one knee. Bring your heel up toward your buttock.
Hold onto your ankle and gently pull your heel closer to your body.
Hold this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.
Repeat the sequence one or two more times on each leg.
Be sure to not arch or twist your back while stretching.

 


Straight-Leg Raises


This exercise strengthens the front of your thigh.

While lying on the floor with your elbows directly under your shoulders to support your upper body, keep your neck and shoulders relaxed.
Place your leg with the affected knee in front of you while straight. Bend the other leg so your foot is flat on the floor.
Tighten the thigh muscle of the straight leg. Then, slowly raise it 6 to 10 inches off the floor.
Hold this position for 5 seconds. Then, relax and bring your leg to the floor. Repeat for three sets of 10.

Dr. Johnson suggests trying  this exercise while you watch your favorite TV show. Start with five reps at every commercial until you get to 30. Then, gradually work your way up to 50, and 100. As it becomes easier, you can slowly increase the resistance by adding ankle weights. Slowly increase them by one pound increments.


Slow “March”


This exercise strengthens stabilizing muscles of your foot, knee, and hip.

Stand next to a wall or door frame for support.
While you balance on your right foot, hold on to the wall or door frame to stay steady if needed.
Keep your knee straight over your ankle, slightly bent.
Slowly lift your left foot until your knee is level with your hip. If you cannot quite get there, get as close to that position as you can without pain.
Slowly lower your foot back to the floor. Then, repeat with the other foot.
Repeat as many times as you can, while in correct position.

 


Bodyweight Squat


This exercise helps strengthen thighs and buttocks.

Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart, or a little wider.
If needed, hold on to something stable, like the back of sturdy chair or kitchen sink.
Keep your chest lifted and shift your weight back into your heels while slowly pushing your hips back, as is you were sitting down into a chair.
Keep your feet flat and lower yourself as far as you’re comfortable (such as a quarter or halfway down to where a chair would be).
Push through your heels and bring your body back up to standing.
Repeat the sequence three times.

Sit-and-Stand


This exercise increases range of motion and strengthens the back of the thigh and buttocks.

Stand in front of a sturdy chair that won’t move. A table in front of you can help with support, if needed.
Stand with your feet planted on the floor and hip-distance apart.
Press your buttocks and hips back first. Then, bend your knees and slowly lower yourself to a seated position.
Hold the table, if needed, to keep you from falling back into the chair.
Tip forward at the hips.

Push through your feet up with your legs into a standing position.
Repeat three times, gradually building up to more reps.




If your arthritis pain is debilitating, please reach out to CCMH Orthopedics by visiting http://www.ccmhhealth.com/orthopedics/.

 

Disclaimer


The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.


While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

runner on mountain path

Activities To Improve Heart Health

February is the month we dedicate as American Heart Month. Throughout February, we would like to encourage you to participate in activities to improve the health of your heart.

The heart is so important because it contains some of the body’s most valuable muscles. These muscles and the valves of the heart keep our blood moving and sustains our lives 24/7. As with all other muscles, we can improve the functionality of the heart with exercise.

Many of us are not fond of exercise, but it is very good for our bodies. Not only does regular exercise just help you live healthier and feel better, but it also helps protect you from the #1 killer in America, heart disease, and it can even add years to your life!

 

How should you exercise to help the heart?

 

If you are someone with a medical condition including a heart condition or diabetes, make an appointment to discuss what exercise routine is best in your situation.

If you are new to exercising regularly, start slow. We stick better to routines that are not too vigorous and overwhelmingly challenging. Aim for participating in 30 minutes of exercise each day.

Remember, any movement is good for you. You may be exercising and not even really realize it. As you participate in exercise, the large muscles of your body cause your heart to beat faster which strengthens them.

Don’t participate in an aerobic activity that you do not enjoy. This increases the chances of you abandoning the routine. To impact your heart, find time for moderate aerobic activity most days of the week for a total of around 2.5 hours. If you have a busy schedule, try breaking it into a few 10 to 15 minute sessions.

How does the heart benefit from exercise?


Exercise often leads to weight loss. If you’re overweight, losing even just a few pounds may significantly impact heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Exercise also reduces stress. Stress can contribute to other conditions which are factors in heart disease.

Lower blood pressure is also a positive result of exercise. 30-60 minutes of aerobic activity is recommended to help bring high blood pressure into healthy range.

Lower cholesterol is also a positive benefit of exercise.


What are some heart friendly forms of moderate exercise?


Dancing

Skiing

Yard work

Hiking

Softball

Tennis (doubles)

Swimming

Golfing without a golf cart

Bicycling

Moderate walking (around 3.5 mph)


What are some more vigorous forms of heart healthy exercise?


If you participate in all vigorous activities, aim for 75 minutes of exercise each week to benefit your heart.

Vigorous activities include:


Soccer

Basketball

Tennis (singles)

Cross-country skiing

Brisk walking (about 4.5 mph)

Jogging

Heavy yard work

Stair climbing

Hiking uphill

Bicycling over 10 mph

Jumping rope

 


How Do I Know If I’m Helping My Heart?


To ensure you are benefitting from aerobic activity  and increasing your heart health, track your heart rate. First, determine your resting heart rate. You can do so by counting your heart beats for 10 seconds and multiply that number by six.

Normal resting heart rate for adults is from 60 to 100 beats per minute. A lower resting heart rate is usually the result of more efficient heart function and cardiovascular fitness. A well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats per minute for example.

Many factors influence heart rate, and there is a wide range of normal. Nevertheless, an unusually high or low heart rate can indicate a problem. Consult your doctor if your resting heart rate is above 100 beats a minute consistently or if your resting heart rate is below 60 beats a minute and you’re not a trained athlete.

During exercise, your heart rate should increase to about 50 to 85% of your maximum heart rate based on your age. For moderate intensity exercise, your target heart rate should increase to 50 to 70% of your maximum heart rate. For vigorous exercise, your target heart rate should be 70 to 85% of your maximum heart rate.

You can determine what your maximum heart rate should be for your age by viewing this article by the American Heart Association.

When you first start exercising, aim for the lower number for your age range. As your fitness improves, you can gradually aim for the higher number. No matter your age, it’s never too late to make heart health a goal.

If you would like to learn about heart and vascular services offered at CCMH, please visit http://www.ccmhhealth.com/heart-and-vascular/.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

hands rolling yoga mat

Fitness Apps to Jump Start Your 2019 Fitness Goals

Even if you do not regularly make resolutions in the new year, it is always a great idea to make new fitness goals each year. After all, exercise does not only reduce your risk of many physical health problems. It can be great for mental health as well. To help you meet your goals, here are ten fitness apps to help you discover new workouts.  We hope these fitness apps encourage you to reach your ultimate level of health in 2019!

 

Strava

Strava is often top chosen among fitness apps for social training. It will allow you to connect with athletes across the world. The community includes millions of runners, cyclists and others that record their activities. This handy app tracks several stats.  Check your speed, pace, distance, elevation, and how many calories you burn. You can compare your performance with other users and connect with the community too. Post highlights and photos of your activity. Friendly competition can also motivate you in this app that encourages you to try for the best time on the leaderboard.

 

Sworkit

The American College of Sports Medicine named Sworkit a #1 rated workout app. After entering your personal data, you can input goals. The app then introduces various exercises for cardio, yoga, stretching and strength training. Focus your workouts on being “Stronger,” “Fitter” or “Leaner”.

 

RunKeeper

RunKeeper allows you to track any physical activity. It also gives you the ability to build and find new outdoor routes to keep your workout exciting. Make custom training plans based on a survey you complete, or choose from ready-made schedules. You can also join challenges, win rewards, and share your progress with friends. You may also enjoy the motivation of inviting friends to join. Encourage and cheer each other on along the way.

 

Charity Miles

Charity Miles is unique among fitness apps. Not only will it help you feel better physically, but you also make a difference while using it. Users of this app raised more than $2 million for 40 different charities from doing hard core runs to simply walking down the block to run an errand. Find your activity, duration, distance and the total amount earned by the community for your charity on the app’s dashboard.

 

Zombies, Run!

Zombies, Run! is also unique among fitness apps. It is both a running game and adventure. This app will get your adrenaline and heart pumping. It presents you with a story in which your mission is to gather supplies, rescue survivors, and defend their homes post-zombie apocalypse. You will “save” hundreds of lives as the truth about the apocalypse unfolds. Your mission and music plays through your headphones. If  zombies chase you, you better pick up the pace!

 

Yoga Studio

It may cost a few bucks, but yogis will say Yoga Studio is a “must have” among Yoga fitness apps. Yoga Studio contains over 70 ready-made yoga and meditation classes for beginners to advanced users. Classes are customizable and may focus on strength, flexibility, relaxation, balance, or a combination of all. Commentary in the app provides easy-to-follow instructions for poses as well as how to move from one to the next. There are also modifications, benefits and cautions of each pose.

 

J&J Official 7 Minute Workout

Chris Jordan, director of exercise physiology at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, designed the J&J Official 7 Minute Workout. HIIT research was used to create this app. This research shows that short bursts of hard exercise with short recoveries can improve aerobic fitness quickly. Jump right into a 7-minute workout. Give a thumbs up or thumbs down for exercises. This app also contains video tutorials that teach you how to perform the 72 exercises effectively and safely. Your progression is tracked in the performance dashboard.

 

Carrot Fit

Enjoy a laugh while getting fit with a sadistic computer-generated coach. This app inspires, threatens, ridicules and bribes. It  promises you will get fit or else! Based on the science-based methods such as the J&J Official 7 Minute Workout, these 7 minutes also include laughable pop-culture themed activities. Track your steps and also your weight loss. Face Carrot’s judgement if you do poorly or receive rewards with app upgrades and cat facts.

 

Couch to 5K

Couch to 5k is well-known yet popular among fitness apps. The goal of Couch to 5K is to help you go from a couch potato to running a 5K in 9 weeks by following their easy and fun plan. The app intends for beginners to spend 30 minutes working out, three times per week, to get 5K-ready.

 

JEFIT Workout Planner Gym Log

JEFIT allows you to log weight and repetitions on each gym machine in one-click. Track your workout routines and also your rest time. Also log and graph your body measurements while you progress. With access to over 2,000 exercises, the dashboard displays weight lifting and cardio exercises. It also gives you step-by-step instructions and tips. There are millions of users to connect with as well as the option to invite friends. Stay motivated by sharing your training progress and comparing stats.

 

It is also important to have regular check-ups with a doctor to assess your health. If you have not had a checkup in awhile, make it a goal to schedule an appointment with a CCMH physician this week! Find a list of our providers at http://www.ccmhhealth.com/providers/.

 

Disclaimer
The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.
Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.
While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.