BUILDING BULLET-PROOF KNEES
Knee pain can be one of the most debilitating experiences that you go through. Whether it be through a traumatic injury that brings it on, or a niggling pain that shows up uninvited, knee pain can take a toll on an individual both physically and mentally. When we look at knee pain, it’s important to take a thorough history and assessment so that we can determine the necessary approach to treatment and rehabilitation.
Once we have established a diagnosis, we can start to build a plan moving forward. As practitioners, we aim to reduce our patients’ pain as quickly as possible. We do this through a variety of modalities that help to desensitise the area. However, more important is the rehabilitation process where we begin to optimise knee function and build strength and resilience. This is the part where we solidify the changes made in the treatment room. The part where patients regain confidence in their knees.
SO, HOW CAN YOU BUILD STRONGER AND HEALTHIER KNEES?
1. USE THEM TO THEIR FULL CAPACITY
Knees are designed to flex and extend within a range of motion specific to the individual. Explore and improve that range through movement and exercise.
2. WALK, RUN, JOG, JUMP AND HOP ON THEM
They are designed to withstand forces greater than just your leisurely walk from your car to work.
3. PUT THEM THROUGH THEIR PACES IN THE GYM THROUGH COMPOUND MOVEMENTS SUCH AS THE SQUAT OR THE LUNGE
These movements build strong, healthy and capable knees, and more importantly longevity into the future.
4. WORK ON MOBILITY AND STRENGTH IN THE AREAS ABOVE AND BELOW, NAMELY THE HIP AND ANKLE
These joints can contribute to poor knee function and pain if they are not working optimally.
5. TAKE THE STAIRS MORE OFTEN (BOTH UP AND DOWN)
Climbing and descending stairs improves the strength of tendons and ligaments around your knees.
6. WALK BACKWARDS A FEW TIMES A WEEK
We are so used to walking forwards that we seldom challenge ourselves backwards. Grab a sled with a rope attached and drag it backwards. This simple exercise builds strong and healthy knees and it’s super easy to implement at the gym.
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